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Acquittal Case Study: Assault, Forcible Confinement, and Mischief Over $5000

Agreeing to a Peace Bond often seems like a reasonable resolution to avoid a criminal conviction and conclude the matter quickly. The Crown may agree to the Peace Bond, but usually require our clients to take the Partner Assault Response (PARs) Program first.
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Charges Withdrawn – Assault (Domestic) – (Case Study)

Agreeing to a Peace Bond often seems like a reasonable resolution to avoid a criminal conviction and conclude the matter quickly. The Crown may agree to the Peace Bond, but usually require our clients to take the Partner Assault Response (PARs) Program first.
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Acquittal – Care or Control of Motor Vehicle with More than 80mg of Alcohol in 100ml of Blood (Case Study)

At trial we would attempt to show that there had been breaches of Mr. M.’s Charter rights by the police that were serious enough to warrant the exclusion of the breath sample evidence. We would also challenge the reliability of the officer’s account, especially with respect to the timing of the taking of the breath samples.
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Charges Withdrawn: Theft Under $5000 (Shoplifting) & Possession Of Stolen Property Under $5000 (Case Study)

Mr. S. held a management position at a large company. As a result of a simple misunderstanding and monetary inattention, he ended up being charged with two criminal offences. We managed to beat those charges.
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Charges Withdrawn – Theft Under $5000 & Possession of Stolen Property Under $5000 (Case Study)

Our client fell on some hard times and found herself in a position where a bank machine had dispensed cash that she had not requested it. As a result of the financial hardship she was experiencing, instead of notifying the bank of the error, she pocketed the cash in order to help herself survive. Unfortunately, as a result of video surveillance, she found herself on the receiving end of a Theft Under $5,000 allegation.
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Charges Withdrawn – Assault (Case Study)

Mr. P. had lived a period of time approaching a century without acquiring a criminal record; he should not get one now! If convicted of the assault charge, he not only would have a criminal record, but the resulting sentence would almost certainly contain “no contact” terms with regards to Ms. M. But Mr. P. and Ms. M. had a relationship and they both lived in the same retirement home. The goal was to avoid conviction, allow the couple to have contact with each other and remain in the retirement home, while at the same time allowing Ms. M. to feel safe.
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Charges Withdrawn – Possession of Marijuana (Case Study)

Mr. R. had a good job with a big company. A criminal record would affect his career and ability to travel to the US. The goal was to avoid a criminal record. Thus, we entered into negotiations with the crown to see whether direct accountability may be an applicable outcome for possessing a quantity of marijuana.
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Charges Withdrawn – Impaired Driving, Over 80 mg, and Dangerous Driving (Case Study)

The goal was to avoid a criminal conviction. Mr. C. was initially charged with five offences, four of which were criminal offences. But, because he chose to fight the charges by trial, the Crown added a sixth criminal charge, Dangerous Driving. At trial he would have to beat all five of the criminal charges to avoid a criminal conviction.
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Acquittal – Refuse or Fail to Provide Breath Sample (Case Study)

We would take a two-pronged approach to the trial. We would file a Charter challenge and argue that sections 8 (the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure) and 9 (the right not to be arbitrarily detained) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been breached. In particular we would argue that the investigating officer did not have the necessary reasonable suspicion to demand the breath sample. If successful on the Charter challenge, we would seek to have all the evidence excluded under s. 24(2) of the Charter. The second prong to our approach would be to attack the Crown’s case on an evidentiary basis.
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Impaired Driving and Over 80 Withdrawn – Plea to Careless Driving (Case Study)

Mr. H. had been charged with Over 80 and with impaired driving. While the officer had dropped the “refuse” charge, it was possible that the charge could be resurrected. It was also possible that a dangerous driving charge could be added. A trial would be risky, especially if we had to face four charges rather than two. We had to prevent these additional charges being added to the existing two charges and if possible to avoid a trial in this case. We started by filing a Charter challenge to argue that Mr. H.’s rights had been infringed by police and then we approached the Crown to attempt to negotiate a plea to the non-criminal offence of careless driving which would not leave Mr. H. with a criminal record.
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Charges Withdrawn – Mischief Under $5000 (Case Study)

Often, and unfortuntely, at some point in time an individual may have a dispute with a neighbour. Our client was attempting to sell her house so she could move to California to be with her children. However, the neighbouring house was in such a state of disrepair that our client's real estate agent indicated it would reduce the value of her home by tens of thousands of dollars. Without consent, our client cut down some shrubs and was charged with mischief under $5,000. A criminal record may prevent her from moving to the USA. In the end we achieved a result whereby Ms. M. entered into a Peace Bond in which no criminal or civil liability was be admitted, without having to take mental health counselling or pay restitution. The mischief charge against Ms. M. was withdrawn.
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Careless Driving Ticket – Withdrawn (Case Study)

This careless driving allegation was withdrawn at the request of the prosecutor as they finally realized that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction against our client. Because careless driving is so loosely defined by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the onus is on the Crown to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt - with is a pretty high threshold when it comes to the particular facts of a specific case. Lack of clear and concise evidence against our client resulted in the charges being withdrawn.
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Acquittal: Over 80 (Case Study)

This would be a very technical case which would turn on a question of minutes. The principle issue in the case would have to do with the second roadside breath alcohol screening device test. We would raise a Charter challenge and argue that there had been breaches of Mr. G.’s rights by the police under s. 9 (the right not to be arbitrarily detained) and s. 10(b) (right to counsel) of the Charter, in that he had been detained for too many minutes at a crucial point during the RIDE stop, without being given the option to exercise his right to counsel. We would then argue that the breaches of his Charter rights were serious enough to warrant the exclusion of the breath sample evidence – without which there could be no conviction for the offence of “Over 80.”
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Acquittal: OVER 80 mg (Case Study)

Mr. J.G. was charged with “Over 80,” which is a criminal offence. He had a prior drinking and driving conviction which meant that if he pleaded guilty or lost at trial, he was looking at a minimum of 30 days jail, a three-year licence suspension, a further three years after that of driving with the ignition Interlock device, a mandatory alcohol education/treatment program, a fine and a mandatory victim surcharge. The goal was to fight and beat this charge.
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Acquittal – Assault Charge (Case Study)

This case of an alleged assault depended on the testimony of four witnesses. Each would have a different version of the events. It would be our challenge to stitch together from the evidence, a narrative favourable to our client. To do so, we would, through cross-examination have to bring into question the reliability and/or credibility of the witness testimony that was unfavourable to our client and to highlight the contradictions in that testimony, and then make submissions arguing for a finding in favour of our client's version of the facts.
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Impaired Driving and Over 80 Withdrawn – Plea to Careless Driving (Case Study)

Mr. H. had been charged with Over 80 and with impaired driving. While the officer had dropped the “refuse” charge, it was possible that the charge could be resurrected. It was also possible that a dangerous driving charge could be added. A trial would be risky, especially if we had to face four charges rather than two. We had to prevent these additional charges being added to the existing two charges and if possible to avoid a trial in this case. We started by filing a Charter challenge to argue that Mr. H.’s rights had been infringed by police and then we approached the Crown to attempt to negotiate a plea to the non-criminal offence of careless driving which would not leave Mr. H. with a criminal record.
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Acquittal – Care and Control Over 80 (Case Study)

There is a presumption in Canadian criminal law that a person found in the driver’s seat of a vehicle is in care and control. This presumption may be rebutted with evidence. To get such evidence, we would call the bar owner and staff as witnesses who would corroborate Mr. T.G.’s story that he had that night taken steps to not drive, which included getting permission to leave his vehicle and asking that a cab be called.
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Acquittal – Assault (Domestic) (Case Study)

Mr. and Mrs. H. were married and had a five-year-old daughter. On a Saturday night they had a heated conversation which led to Mrs. H. leaving and staying overnight at a friend's house. On Sunday, when Mrs. H. got home, the argument flared up again and as it progressed, Mr. H. got upset and threw something. Mrs. H. said that it was a glass and that it broke near her feet.
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Acquittal-Assault, Forcible Confinement, and Mischief (Case Study)

This case would turn on the question of credibility. The complainant’s testimony would be pitted against our client’s. Each would have a different version of the events. It would be a classic “he-said-she-said” situation. We would present our client’s version of what happened, while raising a reasonable doubt about the complainants’s story and systematically attacking the Crown’s case. To do so, we would, through cross-examination, have to bring into question the reliability and/or credibility of the complainant’s testimony.
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Care and Control / Over 80 mg Dismissal (Case Study)

Mr. K.M. was a young man, a university graduate with no criminal record. He had a bright future ahead of him until this happened. A criminal record would likely destroy his future job prospects in the particular profession for which he had trained. He could not afford to plead guilty; he had to beat this charge.
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Acquittal – Care or Control of a Motor Vehicle While Impaired / Over 80 / Sexual Assault (Case Study)

Late one summer night, police received a call about a woman who had run into a Tim Horton’s saying that she had just been sexually assaulted by a man who was at that moment outside the store. Some of the Tim’s employees surrounded the man’s vehicle and prevented him from leaving. The man himself also called police, reporting that people were blocking his vehicle and he didn’t know why. But, when police arrived, he was no longer there. The police continued down the street, caught up with the man, Mr. Hd., who was driving slowly and pulled him over. The officers then thought that they smelled alcohol on Mr. Hd.’s breath and so demanded that he blow a sample into the roadside breath alcohol screening device. He registered a fail and was transported to the station to provide further samples in to the breath testing machine. Those samples registered readings over the legal limit for blood alcohol. Mr. Hd. was charged with “Impaired,” “Over 80” and Sexual Assault, following an alleged altercation with a female in a parking lot.
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Dismissal – Impaired / Over 80 (Case Study)

Sometime very early one mid-August morning, the Ministry of Transportation cameras capture a scene of a male talking on his cell phone sitting on the grass beside a vehicle in the ditch on the shoulder of Highway 401. A witness had reported seeing a car that had been in an accident. Ambulance and police were dispatched to a personal injury single motor vehicle collision. When police arrived they found a young man fitting the description from the camera footage. The young man said he that he had fallen asleep on his way home from his girlfriend’s. He did not need the ambulance. The police, believing that they observed signs of intoxication, demanded that he give a breath sample into the roadside alcohol screening device. He did so and registered a “fail.” He was arrested. The handcuffs that they put on him were tight and hurt his wrists. Later at the police station, he gave a breath sample into the device there and registered a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. The police charged him with impaired driving and with “Over 80.”
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Acquittal – Operation of Motor Vehicle While Impaired by Alcohol (Case Study)

Sometime very early one mid-August morning, the Ministry of Transportation cameras capture a scene of a male talking on his cell phone sitting on the grass beside a vehicle in the ditch on the shoulder of Highway 401. A witness had reported seeing a car that had been in an accident. Ambulance and police were dispatched to a personal injury single motor vehicle collision. When police arrived they found a young man fitting the description from the camera footage. The young man said he that he had fallen asleep on his way home from his girlfriend’s. He did not need the ambulance. The police, believing that they observed signs of intoxication, demanded that he give a breath sample into the roadside alcohol screening device. He did so and registered a “fail.” He was arrested. The handcuffs that they put on him were tight and hurt his wrists. Later at the police station, he gave a breath sample into the device there and registered a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. The police charged him with impaired driving and with “Over 80.”
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Acquittal – Assault Charge in Oshawa (Case Study)

It was three in the morning and everybody had been drinking. Both Ms. V. and Mr. G. had in the past cheated on each other, but both had, each time, forgiven the other. On this night, Mr. G., looking in Ms. V.’s phone, found that the name of the man she had cheated on him with, was still in her contacts. Accusations flew and tempers flared. Mr. G. called the police and told them that Ms. V. had punched him in the face several times and kicked him in the groin. When the police came to arrest Ms. V. at her home she told them that Mr. G. had gone through her phone and noticed that the man she had cheated with was still in her contacts. He was very upset, yelling at her and kicking bathroom cupboards. They exited the bathroom and continued to argue.
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Acquittal – Assault Charge (Case Study)

In the course of an argument some things are said. The step-daughter, in her room with her boyfriend, over-hears the argument between her father and Ms. B. in the next room and realizes that Ms. B. had revealed the secret to her father. The girl flies into a rage and storms into the room towards Ms. B. who grabs Ms. M. by the arm. Ms. M. falls to the floor. Enraged, by what has just occurred, Mr. M. attacks Ms. B., throws her down on the couch and starts to choke her. The step-daughter's boyfriend pulled Mr. M. off Ms. B. Both Mr. M. and Ms. B. call 911. Only Ms. B. is charged with assault.
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Acquittal – Care or Control While Impaired and Over 80 (Case Study)

Mr. H. Was found sitting in the driver's seat with his head slumped to one side. He appeared to be sleeping or passed out. The keys were in the ignition and the vehicle was not running but the ignition was switched on. The officer spoke to Mr. H. and asked him to exit the vehicle. Once outside, the officer noted an odour of alcohol on Mr. H.’s breath.
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Acquittal – Impaired and Over 80 (Case Study)

The officer formed a suspicion that Mr. T. had alcohol in his body and told him that he would require him to give a screening sample of his breath. The officer then went off to find a roadside breath screening device.
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Acquittal – Care or Control Over 80 (Case Study)

In the very early, dark hours of a winter’s morning, a white Toyota crashed into a hydro pole, then into a mattress and box spring that had been left on the curb, and then a second hydro pole. Debris was scattered all over the road and the lawns of the nearby houses. The mattress was halfway up a tree. Another driver witnessed the Toyota hit and wrap around the second hydro pole.
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Acquittal – Sexual Assault – Sexual Exploitation – Sexual Interference (Case Study)

Mr. G. had been the step-father of the complainant “C.” who was 19 at the time of trial but had been approximately 13 at the time of the alleged incidents. C. accused Mr. G. of touching her in a sexual way on three occasions. Mr. G. denied all the accusations.
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Impaired, Over 80 & Novice Driver BAC Over 0 (Case Study)

About an hour after dawn on a clear, dry Sunday morning in May, in the heart of Muskoka, police were dispatched to a vehicle roll over. They arrived at the scene to find the vehicle on its roof. The driver Mr. N. and his passenger were standing nearby as was a bystander. Mr. N. was 20 years old and was in cottage country for a weekend away with a buddy. The officer questioned Mr. N. who reported swerving to avoid a rabbit. The officer then questioned him on his recent alcohol consumption and Mr. N. admitted to drinking the night before, approximately five hours prior. The officer therefore demanded that Mr. N. give a breath sample into the roadside breath screening device. He provided a breath sample, registered a “fail” and accordingly was arrested for having over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood – a criminal offence.
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Acquittal – Impaired and Over 80

Two civilian witnesses came upon Mr. M.’s vehicle immobilized in a ditch with two wheels off the ground. They stopped to assist and believed that Mr. M., who was in the driver’s seat, was intoxicated. They called 911. The police officer who arrived at the scene arrested Mr. M. for Impaired Operation of that vehicle.
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Speeding Ticket Dismissed (Case Study)

Mr. M. had been visiting Sandbanks Provincial Park in Prince Edward County with his family in August of 2015. Just before the lunch hour, at approximately 11:35am, a park warden allegedly noticed Mr. M.’s vehicle approaching his location at what he believed to be a high rate of speed.
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Guilty of Failing to Yield – Not Over 80mg (Case Study)

Counsellor Nadarajah centred her focus on three main charter arguments: (i) that the demand for Mr. T. to provide a sample into an approved screening device did not follow forthwith from the officer forming the suspicion that Mr. T. had alcohol in his body and thus breached sections eight and nine of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (ii) that the arresting officer’s failure to establish a firm time of Mr. T.’s last driving rendered both his ASD and Intoxilyzer demands invalid, thus also breaching both sections eight and nine of the Charter. (iii) that Mr. T. was not provided with his rights to counsel or the opportunity to exercise them prior to complying with the ASD demand when circumstances dictated that he should have been, amounting to a breach of section 10(b) of the Charter.
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Appeal – Rights Violated (Case Study)

Mr. J. was a 22 year old Canadian student entering into his 4th year of university in the United States on a golf scholarship. After attending a party in Toronto, he was stopped by the police and arrested for driving with over 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood (over 80).
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Over 80 – Police Misconduct (Case Study)

Ms. M. had been at a local bar having a few drinks with a friend of hers. As a result of being sexually harassed by a fellow patron (a tow truck driver), our client left the bar and drove to McDonald's for a snack. The tow truck driver followed her out, and called the police to report a possible DUI. The reality is that the tow truck driver was hoping that our client would be arrested so he could tow the car and impound it for seven (7) days - perhaps earning $1,000 in the process.
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Careless Driving Instead of Impaired Driving & Over 80mg (Case Study)

Mr. N. is a military teacher who had generally demonstrated a high degree of responsibility in our community. As so many before him, Mr. N. had a momentary lapse in his judgment and decided to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after having a few too many drinks. The arresting officer noted that he had witnessed Mr. N.’s vehicle cross the centre line on several occasions and briefly drive south in a northbound lane. Upon the review of Mr. N.’s disclosure package, as provided to defence counsel by the Crown, Mr. Aitken identified multiple Charter breaches. While the matter was set for a four hour trial, the trial itself never began as a result of the Crown making a deal with Mr. Aitken and Mr. N. to a plea of guilty to a lesser charge.
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Over 80mg – Stay of Proceedings (Case Study)

Ms. B. had just recently arrived back to Canada. Her plane had only just landed not long before she was stopped by the Ontario R.I.D.E. program as she drove home from the airport. She explained to the officer that she was feeling jetlagged but the officer could smell an odour of alcohol coming from her breath. She was placed under arrest after failing the approved screening device test.
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Care & Control and Over 80 Acquittal (Case Study)

Mr. G. had been watching the CFL Grey Cup while he hung out with a few of his friends on the night of Sunday November 25 to Monday November 26, 2014. At the time, he was facing a serious financial burden as he was supporting his new, young family. After entering the car with his friends, he turned towards the street from the parking garage but shortly made an additional turn to return to the parking garage. An officer, who was located across the street, grew suspicious that he should be entering the vehicle so late on a Sunday night / early Monday morning on Grey Cup day and decided to investigate.
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Acquittal – Impaired by Drugs and Dangerous Operation (Case Study)

Mr. B is quite a presentable man but was struggling through some difficult times. He wanted to get a routine medical examination done but possesses a great phobia when a physicians use needles. Ultimately, there was miscommunication between the doctor, pharmacist and our client, which resulted in Mr. B. taking far more Ativan anti-depressants than a normal person should take, given the nature of the drug. Following this mishap regarding our client being advised to take an incorrect dosage of Ativan, the Durham Regional Police Service stopped Mr. B.'s vehicle as a result of erratic driving but, fortunately, before any accidents had occurred.
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