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Charge(s): Impaired Driving by Drug Causing Death
Location: Tri-Counties (Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg), Ontario
Our Client(s): Mr. R
Lawyer/Paralegal: Richard Aitken
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Please Note: Past results not predictive of future results.

The Background

Our, Mr. R, was a young man driving on a snowy, slippery day. He lost control of vehicle and was t-boned by a truck. His passenger, who was his friend, was killed, and Mr. R himself suffered massive injuries. The potential consequences of a conviction in this case included several years in prison and a very lengthy driving suspension.

The Goals

Although the charge was very serious, the goal remained the same – acquittal or at least very significant damage control.

The Strategy

The Crown disclosure (police report) was massive. The key allegation was that Mr. R was impaired by a drug. Indeed, the toxicology report produced by the Centre of Forensic Science indicated the presence of a drug in Mr. R’s system. However, many drugs “linger” in the body for a long period after they cease having any psychoactive impact.

Circumstantially, on its face, it was a strong Crown case. There was an alleged admission by Mr. R of drug use, which hurt our case.

Ultimately, we were able to find the earliest investigative notes as evidence contradictory to there having been any admission of drug use by Mr. R. We were also able to uncover EMS records showing that the ambulance professional did not believe Mr. R exhibited any signs of drug or alcohol consumption. This was terrific news for our case.

We set the matter for a judicial pre-trial and presented these issues to the Crown and judge. Both the Crown and judge accepted that there was some merit to this argument and that the Crown had weaknesses in its case.

The Results

Because of the evidentiary challenge, the Crown offered a plea to the much-reduced charge of careless driving causing death. Mr. R received a fine and a licence suspension, but was able to avoid a criminal record and a very long prison sentence and driver’s licence suspension.


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