The successful defence of a DUI begins with our first conversation.
The initial interview is free.
During our initial conversation I’ll endeavour to assess your case and deduce as much as I can without yet having obtained disclosure from the Crown.
After critiquing your situation, I’ll explain my fee structure and the next step in the process, should you retain me initially, which is to draft a designation which will permit me to appear on your behalf at court.
Typically, initial disclosure – which includes copies of the police officer’s memo book notes – is provided either at the first appearance or shortly thereafter. As I will explain in our initial discussion however the key to successfully defending a case is to obtain all relevant information from the police. That will certainly include all police video, both from the scene (where the police cruisers are equipped with “in car” cameras or where there are 3rd party videos) and the entirety of the video from the station (which includes booking, breath test, cell footage and release). Depending on the case I may also request 911 calls, police radio calls or MDT (Mobile Data Terminal) records. Typically, in a drug impairment case I would also ask for the DRE (Drug Recognition Evaluation) officer’s qualifications.
Once “core” disclosure has been obtained the next order of business is to conduct a Crown pretrial. My philosophy is to be fully prepared for that meeting because this is our best chance to resolve the case and avoid the cost and uncertainty of a trial. The object of this exercise is to explain to the Crown the problems with the case being careful to explain only those things that they can’t fix.
If I can’t initially strike a deal with the Crown, which usually involves the criminal charges being withdrawn in favour of a plea to some regulatory offence under the Highway Traffic Act (such as careless driving) then a judicial pretrial may be set to have a judge mediate the dispute.
Given their expense and uncertainty I view trials as a last resort and we will only set one if we believe we can win the case and if, despite my best efforts, the Crown simply won’t agree to my plea proposal.
Depending on the length and complexity of the trial some clients may want to retain me in full before we set the date whereas others may want to enter into a payment plan. Generally, trials are set many months in advance which provides ample time for payment.
In actuality, the terms “DUI” and “DWI” are strictly American. In Canada, individuals can face three charges as a result of impaired driving: impaired driving, over 80, and refuse.