Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases are complex with serious implications for the accused. These can range from potential jail time to hefty fines. Further, there are long-term consequences for both your driving and criminal record. Navigating the court process in an impaired driving case without legal assistance can be daunting.
What is Impaired Driving?
In Canada, DUI and DWI are colloquially used interchangeably. The Criminal Code contains three distinct categories of charges: impaired driving, driving over 80mg% and refusal (to provide a breathalyser or Approved Screening Device) sample. In lay English, "impaired driving" may mean any of these 3 types of charges. Impaired driving also encompasses driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Click here to learn more about the penalties and consequences associated with impaired driving.
The Role of a DUI Lawyer
a. Navigating the Legal Process
An experienced criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in navigating the legal system, especially in relation to impaired driving cases, can be indispensable. A lawyer can manage the court process and help to make convoluted legal concepts understandable.
b. Challenging Critical Evidence in DUI Cases
A criminal defence lawyer will evaluate all evidence available for your impaired driving case. This includes the functioning and procedure followed in relation to the breathalyzer test, indicia of impairment and whether the police followed the correct procedures. Noticing discrepancies or procedural violations can be instrumental in building a strong DUI defence.
c. Plea bargaining with the Crown Prosecutor
Not every DUI case proceeds to trial. An adept DUI lawyer might negotiate plea deals with the prosecution, which can lead to reduced impaired driving charges or penalties. Depending on the circumstances, alternatives like counselling or treatment programs for alcoholism may also be on the table. Impaired Driver treatment programs are often offered in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and other provinces for some offenders.
d. The only person you can Confide in
The stress of facing an impaired driving charge is immense. Solicitor-client privilege and confidentiality means that you can confide in your lawyer without worrying about the privacy of your conversations or the risk that your words could be used against you in evidence in court. A lawyer is the only person you can confide in without worrying about self-incrimination.
Potential Consequences Without Legal Representation
a. Heavier Impaired Driving Penalties
In the absence of competent legal representation you could face the harshest penalties. This may include longer jail sentences, significant fines, and extended licence suspensions.
b. Permanent Criminal Record
c. Missed Opportunities for Defence
Without legal counsel, you might miss crucial details that could alter your case's outcome or be unaware of available impaired driving defences.
Charged With Impaired Driving? Hire Nicholas Robinson, DUI Lawyer
Nicholas Robinson has over 13 years of experience handling DUI allegations for clients. Mr. Robinson uses a client-centred approach to provide personalized legal solutions to those charged with impaired driving offences. Reach Mr. Robinson today at (306) 585-1777 for a free initial consultation.