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CASE DETAILS

Charge(s): Impaired driving, Over 80, Criminal harassment
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Our Client(s): Mr. R
Year: 2023
Lawyer/Paralegal: Tarinpal Dhaliwal
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Please Note: Past results not predictive of future results.

The Background

In early 2022, Mr. R was arrested after police were called to a commercial area. When police arrived at the scene, they investigated and detained our client for over an hour. He was not read his rights to counsel until over 40 minutes from the start of his detention. He was charged with impaired driving and over 80.

After his release, he had allegedly returned to the commercial area to leave a note, and he was rearrested and charged with criminal harassment.

Section 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that when arrested or detained, everyone has the right to counsel without delay and to be informed of that right. Section 9 provides that everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. The fact that our client had been arbitrarily detained and had not been informed of his right to counsel until late in the process gave rise to a potential claim for a breach of the Charter.

The Goals

Mr. R wanted to have the matter resolved in a way that would result in him having no criminal record. The goal was therefore to resolve the matter by way of a plea deal that would not involve a criminal record.

The Strategy

In order to negotiate a plea deal with the Crown, our lawyer aimed to raise doubt regarding the Crown’s reasonable prospect of conviction in this case. The challenge for the defence in this case was that the Crown initially refused to resolve the matter by way of a plea deal, because the breath sample the client provided had been over twice the legal blood alcohol concentration limit. However, in the pre-trial proceedings, the judge agreed that there was likely a Charter breach.

In his negotiations with the Crown, Mr. Dhaliwal highlighted the various Charter violations that had taken place over the course of our client’s detention. He also raised potential other issues to be faced by the Crown in this case, including a potential identity issue regarding the 9-1-1 caller, and presented an alternate suspect as to who was operating the motor vehicle. It was presented that the brother of the accused may have been the one operating the motor vehicle.

The Results

As a result of Mr. Dhaliwal raising the Charter breaches that had taken place during the client’s arrest, the Crown agreed to resolve the matter by allowing the client to plea guilty to a provincial offence under the Highway Traffic Act. This result means that the charges under the Criminal Code were withdrawn: the client was not convicted of a criminal offence, and was able to keep his criminal record clear.

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