Have you or someone you know been charged with an impaired driving related offence in the Peterborough area? Or maybe you aren’t sure if what you have been charged with is in fact a DUI related offence … If so, it may be extremely beneficial to talk to one of our experienced DUI criminal lawyers within the city of Peterborough. Our team knows what it takes to get you through your DUI charge, and make the experience as painless as possible. A funny thing we have noticed is that many people fail to realize the term “DUI” does not actually pertain to a specific charge within the Canadian Criminal Code, but rather several possible criminal-driving offences. If you have been charged with a DUI offence as denoted by the criminal code of Canada, it will fall into one of these categories:
- Refusal or failure to give a breath sample;
- Impaired driving;
- Impaired driving with BAC over 80
- Impaired care or control
- Over 80 care or control.
At Aitken Robertson, we pride ourselves on providing clients with knowledgeable DUI lawyers in relation to their specific case, whilst maintaining friendly financing options.
Our Peterborough based attorney, Mr. Philip Stiles, is a very proud Trent University alumni and is thrilled to call Peterborough home again after a very respectable career working across Canada. As an avid outdoorsman and someone who much prefers smaller community living, Peterborough offers the lifestyle and collegial work environment he values.
Mr. Philip Stiles is a former Crown prosecutor, bringing a vast wealth of knowledge and experience to the Aitken Robertson team. As a Crown, Mr. Stiles also dealt with many impaired driving, over .08 and refusal cases. This experience left him with a thorough understanding of the Crown’s proof requirements as well as the range of viable defences available to the accused in DUI cases. This is particularly important in the context of impaired driving charges, where a breach of the accused’s rights can lead to an acquittal at trial.
Mr. Stiles’ combination of education and hands-on experience is an asset when defending against criminal allegations. From minimizing risk to efficient litigation at trial, Mr. Stiles strives to ensure the best outcomes for all his clients. Since beginning with the firm, his hard work and dedication has paid off in the form of non-criminal resolutions, discontinued prosecution and successful trials. For in depth testimonials and reviews of Mr. Stiles’ work and various cases click here: https://fightthecharges.com/philip-stiles/
What are Some Factors that Affect the Cost of a DUI Lawyer?
The answer to that question usually depends on three factors:
- The complexity of the case
- The client’s instructions
- The experience of your attorney
Unfortunately, DUI cases are often very costly, especially if you wish to receive an experienced defence team with the best odds of success. DUI law does not simply fall under the “criminal law” title, and requires its own separated skills on the part of the firm in question. That’s why at Aitken Robertson; we pride ourselves on the vast experience and wealth of knowledge possessed by our team members. It is important to remember that our Peterborough attorneys are also very familiar with the courts and officials in the Peterborough area, creating another experiential asset for us here.
Firstly, cost is derived directly from the complexity of one’s DUI case. A simple DUI case will be less costly than one that is requires a much more detailed defence in general. The higher the complexity of the case, the more time an experienced lawyer will have to dedicate to forming your defence. In addition, with a more complex defence requirement comes the need for a highly specialized DUI lawyer, which is not cheap. Things that could potentially increase the complexity of your case and lead to increased lawyers fees include:
- If your DUI led to an accident
- If your DUI led to an accident causing bodily harm or death
- If this is a multiple DUI offence
- If a licence suspension was effective during a DUI offence
- If BAC is over 2x the legal limit upon arrest
As it stands, bringing your Peterborough DUI case to trial instead of entering a plea deal will be more costly if you, as the client, instruct us to do so. In some certain circumstances, a plea bargain could be reached that was so beneficial to the client it is seen as a victory in itself compared to taking your case to trial. In such cases, a plea arrangement may be more costly than usual. A real life example of this is when a DUI charge is dropped to a mere “careless driving” offence under the Highway Traffic Act due to lack of evidence or breach of the client’s rights. This would be viewed as a massive victory as the accused would avoid criminal charges and a criminal record, as well as a hefty license suspension. In cases such as these, the result is almost identical to winning your trial if it went to court.
Aitken Robertson’s Peterborough DUI lawyers are knowledgeable with unique training in many related industries and fields. One such example is the Intoxilyzer 8000 training, conducted in New Orleans, USA that many of the team members did last summer. This type of formal training gives Aitken Robertson attorneys a large advantage over the competition when dealing with cases where a Breathalyzer is used improperly. It is due to experience such as this that results in costs for our lawyers being higher than other DUI attorneys. However, the Aitken Robertson team understands that everyone’s financial situation is different. We therefore take into consideration each individual client’s ability to pay accordingly. We try to make payment of legal fees painless and as easy as we can by offering affordable monthly payment plans to help cover the cost of their file. It should be noted that we do not charge interest on our services and fees.
Peterborough DUI Lawyers’ Fees: Hourly Fees versus Flat Fees or Block Billing
Common practice within the legal industry is to bill clients for every ten minutes of time spent interacting with them. This could include phone calls, consultations, meetings and court appearances. At Aitken Robertson, we pride ourselves in not taking part in this practice. We understand that this time is very stressful for you and as such, want to make payments as easy as possible, and plan them out ahead of time. You as a client should not have to worry about being billed for every ten minute phone call to your attorney, and should be encouraged to ask questions whenever possible. Open communication is key to a successful client-attorney relationship, and we have found our billing methods foster this notion much better than “ten minute billing.” This practice all but eliminates the “sticker shock” that people experience when viewing their legal bills for the first time.
For DUI cases in the Peterborough area, most file costs will be predictable for the client. In a block fee system, monthly fees can be sorted out in advance and be displayed to the client on demand. If a matter is resolved by the charge being withdrawn, a peace bond, a careless driving charge plea bargain, or a one-day trial then the fee is the same. If the trial lasts for more than one day, additional set fees (up-front quoted amounts) will apply. You simply need to add up the number of days spent at trial and calculate the total payment accordingly. Guilty pleas take less work, and our fee is accordingly lower for a plea than for a trial.
To better understand how your lawyer’s fee is calculated, it is important to know what happens in a file. Typically a criminal case file unfolds is as follows:
- Initial meeting with you the client;
- Sending you the initial letter explaining the process of having us represent you;
- Obtaining the Crown’s disclosure;
- Reviewing the Crown’s disclosure with you;
- When allowed to, providing you with a copy of the Crown’s disclosure;
- Ordering missing video or other disclosure, and reviewing that disclosure with you;
- Arranging to see the prosecutor, and conducting negotiations (plea bargaining) with the Crown attorney;
- Updating you with the results of the plea-bargaining;
- Discussing defences and strategy with you and sorting out whether you prefer to go to trial or to plead guilty (assuming that a reasonable plea bargain has been achieved);
- Possibly preparing and conducting a judicial pre-trial.
- Prepping for trial or prepping for plea of guilty; and,
- Sending you our final reporting letter and account.
Communication is a mutual affair, and both the client as well as the defence lawyer should make their expectations and requests very clear, and to clear up any ambiguities if they arise.