Criminal

Criminal

Impaired Driving | Drug Offences | Assaults

In Custody? Call 604.938.HELP (4357), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Canadian Charter of Rights guarantees everyone a full and fair defence as well as the presumption of innocence. This means that it is always the burden of the Crown to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not need to prove your innocence. To ensure you receive the benefit of all of your rights, consult with a lawyer.

At Double Diamond Law, we represent clients for all forms of criminal and quasi-criminal charges including Provincial regulatory offenses. So, whether it is a speeding ticket or a serious criminal charge, you can receive representation from our firm. Some of the more commonly occurring charges in the Whistler and Squamish area include impaired driving, drug offences and assaults. As your agent, we can appear in Court, so you don't have to.




IMPAIRED DRIVING


The criminal offence of impaired driving is often referred to as “driving under the influence” or “DUI”.  Specific offences associated to impaired driving are a charge of driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of 0.80, impaired driving, and refusing to provide a breath sample.

The consequences of a conviction are serious and the penalties continue to increase. As of April 2010, you will lose your driver's licence for at least one year, have a criminal record, and be fined a minimum of $1,000.00 plus a $150.00 victim fine surcharge. In addition, the B.C. Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will require you to complete the Responsible Drivers Program before reissuing your licence. This costs $880.00. Then, for your first year of driving after your licence has been reinstated, you will have to drive with an ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) in the vehicle. This costs about $1,500.00 to install and use for one year. Finally, you will be required to pay the Driver Risk Premium for three consecutive years. For a first, criminal code driving offence, this is $905.00 per year. If the incident involves an accident, your insurance will not likely cover any vehicle damage or personal injury claims. In addition, penalties increase and there are minimum jail sentences if you already have a conviction for an impaired driving offence on your record. Further, penalties will likely increase if anyone has been injured as a result of driving while impaired.

90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition – Important! You only have 7 days to challenge this prohibition.

In almost all cases in which you are accused of having blown over the legal limit (.08) or failed / refused to provide a breath sample, the police will serve you with a 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (“ADP”). This sanction represents a completely separate process from any criminal charges, and it is handled through the office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. If you do not challenge this prohibition in any way, then you will have 21 days in which to drive before the prohibition begins. The process to review, or challenge, this prohibition is simple to commence and, since you only have seven days in which to request a review, you must deal with this quickly. You can do so at any Motor Vehicle Branch (above McDonalds in Whistler). For a better understanding of the ADP, you may call us for an explanation.

DRUG OFFENCES


There are several criminal offences arising from the possession or trafficking of drugs and controlled substances. Charges can range from simple possession, to possession for the purpose of trafficking, to trafficking in a particular drug.

The seriousness of the offence is determined by factors such as the quantity of the prohibited substance involved and the type of drug involved. For example, possession of marijuana is generally considered to be less serious than offences involving drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

What You Should Do: The outcomes of a large percentage of these cases revolve around the legality of the search in which the substance(s) was(were) discovered. Even if the substance is an illegal one, the prosecution may not be able to use the evidence due to a breach of your rights. Thus, always talk to a lawyer before engaging in any discussion with the police regarding a drug offence. If the police indicate that they are searching you, your vehicle, or your premises pursuant to a warrant, ask to see the warrant to verify that the area searched is the place described in the warrant. If in doubt, ask to speak to a lawyer.

ASSAULTS


An assault is the intentional application of force, directly or indirectly, to another person, without that person's consent. Even a threat — by act or gesture — to apply force to another person, can constitute an assault.

Assault may be prosecuted by either summary conviction (i.e. less serious) or indictment (i.e. more serious). In most cases, a simple assault will be prosecuted by summary conviction. If convicted, you may face a fine of up to $2,000, or face up to 6 months of imprisonment, or both. In addition, other penalties may be imposed, such as being placed on probation for up to three years, during which time you may have no contact with the victim and you may be required to receive anger management counselling.

In cases of domestic violence, you can expect the police and the Crown to prosecute the offence vigorously, regardless of the wishes of the complainant (alleged victim).

Charges such as assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon tend to be vigorously prosecuted in British Columbia and often result in a sentence of incarceration.

What You Should Do: When charged with assault, always talk to a lawyer before engaging in any discussion with the police. Do not attempt to contact the complainant (alleged victim) without checking to see that there are no restrictions on doing so. If the Courts or the police have released you with a “no contact” order, you can be charged with a new criminal offence if you make such contact. As well, by doing so, you may be arrested and denied bail.