Driving is something that most of us do every day out of necessity, and an activity where a situation can go from everyday routine to difficult, destructive and even tragic in an instant.
Because the consequences of any misconduct involving a car can be so devastating, the court can take charges of this kind very seriously if you are suspected of driving in a way that results in an accident or could possibly cause an accident in the future.
Types Of Offences
Our Vancouver driving offences lawyers deal with a number of different vehicular offences, including:
- Impaired driving: This includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being in the care or control of a car while intoxicated — even if it is parked — as well as refusing a Breathalyzer test.
- Dangerous driving: Reckless or dangerous driving and excessive speeding is taken very seriously, especially if it results in an accident causing damage to people or property.
- Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP): Driving under the influence is now often dealt with administratively at the roadside in British Columbia, unless there are reasons to prosecute. While this may avoid a criminal record for you, it has many downsides, one of which is a very small window of opportunity to defend yourself.
- Driving while prohibited: A first offence triggers a minimum one-year driving prohibition.
If you are convicted, the consequences may include fines, loss of your licence, impounding of your car and major expenses such as an interlock device, licence reinstatement and a Responsible Driver Program. You may also face incarceration and a criminal record, impacting your future job prospects and ability to travel internationally.
This is an area in which experience dealing with specialized evidence and Charter considerations regarding admissibility of evidence can be the difference between winning and losing. Pender Litigation’s lawyers know this area of the law from the inside out. It has been a major part of the practice of all of our lawyers since they were called to the bar. Lawyers from across British Columbia and Canada frequently seek the expertise of our driving lawyers when it comes to defending driving cases.
Impaired driving is a serious offence, with serious consequences upon conviction. Even a minor first-time offence with no possibility of prison time may be financially costly, and may affect you in many unexpected ways.
Whether you are charged with driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car while intoxicated, or refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, talk to our Vancouver lawyers for impaired driving charges before making any decisions about your charge.
The Costs Of Drinking And Driving
If you are convicted of, or plead guilty to, drunk driving or other related offences, the penalties may include:
- Suspension of your driver’s licence for a minimum of one year
- Higher insurance rates
- Obligation to go through a licence reinstatement program
- A heavy fine
- A criminal record, which could affect your ability to travel, especially to the States
- Charges for the installation of an interlock device, which checks your blood alcohol content (BAC) to make sure you cannot drive while impaired
- If you get an Immediate Roadside Suspension, you may avoid criminal charges, but the financial costs will still be high
There may be many ways to deal with your charge.
The lawyers at Pender Litigation will examine the evidence against you, including the police officer’s reason for stopping you and the results of any physical tests performed on you. We will also examine the timeline of events on the night of your arrest, including what you ate and drank and whether you were on any medication that could result in a reading of a high BAC level. We will also look at when the tests were done and the qualifications of anyone who administered a test on you.
The police must respect your Charter rights and follow strict protocols when stopping, arresting and obtaining evidence from you. We have the training to detect whether they have lived up to their obligations. If they have not, their failure to do so may help your case.
Dangerous Driving is defined as driving that represents a marked departure from that of a reasonable person. The consequences of dangerous driving can be similar to impaired driving in many ways. If there are aggravating factors, such as causing serious bodily harm or a fatality to another person, failing to stop for the police, or racing, the penalties can be severe.
Our lawyers will explain the possible penalties you could face for a charge of dangerous or careless driving:
- A driver’s licence suspension, for a year or longer depending on the circumstances
- Fines, which can be fairly heavy
- A criminal record
- Prison time, particularly where grievous bodily harm is involved, or where there has been a fatality
- Serious penalties if you failed to stop at the scene of the accident.
We can identify evidence which may have been obtained in violation of your Charter rights, including your statements to police. With our assistance, improperly obtained evidence may be excluded at your trial.
Driving While Prohibited
If you are caught driving while subject to a prohibition you are facing a mandatory minimum fine and a one-year driving prohibition for a first offence. A second offence triggers a minimum jail sentence. Though this offence may seem simple on first glance, there are a number of potential issues which may arise. This is also an area where negotiations with Crown Counsel may lead to a much more manageable result.
Tickets can have far reaching consequences. Beyond the fine amount, penalty points attach to tickets and those can lead to a prohibition.
If you are issued a ticket then you should contact our traffic court lawyers to help you through the process. We have had significant success in having tickets dismissed or negotiating resolutions that avoid penalty points.