Author Archives: Passipatel

What is a “Drug Recognition Expert”?

Recently, there has been heightened awareness and media coverage with respect to driving while under the influence of a drug or a combination of a drug and alcohol. These investigations are technically complex, and as it is difficult for investigators to isolate whether the impairment is due to alcohol, drug, or both.A drug recognition expert or drug recognition evaluator (DRE) is a police officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol. Continue reading

I’ve been charged with drinking and driving… Can I plead guilty to “Careless Driving” (Highway Traffic Act)?

At Passi & Patel, we defend many individuals charged with “Impaired Driving” and/or “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” in Brampton and Mississauga. Routinely, we are asked, “Can this be reduced to Careless Driving?” Our answer is almost always the same: “It’s not that easy”! Continue reading

What is a surety?

What is a surety?

A surety is a person that assumes responsibility for an accused party in a criminal proceeding. In certain scenarios, a person charged for a criminal offence will be held for “bail”. When a person is held for bail, they often require a “surety” to attend court to bail them out. Being a surety is a serious undertaking. As a starting point, a surety needs to consider whether they are able to supervise the accused person while they are on bail. Further, a surety needs to remember that in order to be a surety, they have to pledge a sum of money to the court in order to secure the accused persons’ release. If an accused person fails to obey the terms and conditions of the bail, they could stand to lose the money that they pledged. The task of being a surety continues until the matter is completed in court. In Canada, is against the law to accepting a fee or being paid back in return for acting as a surety is against the law. Continue reading

Youth Records in Canada

Youth Records in Canada

In Canada, there is a separate set of principles that govern criminal acts committed by youth. The “Youth Criminal Justice Act” (Y.C.J.A.) applies to those between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. With respect to the keeping of a “record”, youth are treated different than adults.

Pursuant to the Y.C.J.A., young persons are given a “youth record”, not a “criminal record”, and youth are “found guilty”, not “convicted”. The words are different on purpose in order to protect the reputation of young persons.

One of the biggest differences between adult criminal records and youth records is that there is a greater deal of privacy surrounding youth records. The Y.C.J.A. restricts access to youth records. The following is a list of bodies that are able to access youth records: Continue reading

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Impaired Driving by DRUG and ALCOHOL – The Penalties

As you may have heard, as of October 2nd, 2016, there have been some changes with respect to the laws surrounding “Driving while Impaired by Drug(s)”. Presently, the criminal penalties for Impaired Driving by Alcohol and Drug are the same. The laws differentiate when it comes to “testing mechanisms” and “license suspensions”.

License Suspension – Drinking and Driving

With respect to drinking and driving, driving with a “blood alcohol concentration” of 50 milligrams of alcohol and under, is perfectly legal. If a motorist is stopped and asked to provide a sample of their breath into an “approved screening device” and their “blood alcohol concentration” is under 50 milligrams, the “approved screening device” will indicate a “pass” and the motorist is free to go.

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Criminal Offence Outcomes – Terminology

Everyone should have a general understanding of common criminal law terms and their basic meanings, as they relate to potential outcomes. You never know when you might make an error in judgement and be charged with a criminal offence. Should you ever be charged with a criminal offence, it is highly recommended you contact a criminal defence lawyer in Mississauga to protect your rights.

Peace Bond
For certain offences, the Crown sometimes offers the accused the option of a peace bond. This outcome is where the accused has to adhere to specific conditions, such as no additional criminal offences in a set period, no contact with a named individual, etc. Upon entering the peace bond, the charge is withdrawn and no criminal conviction is registered.

Summary Offence
Summary offences are less serious offences that have less severe penalties, like shoplifting. These types of offences remain in the Ontario Court of Justice.

Indictable Offence
Indictable offences are more serious criminal offences that carry more severe penalties. Some examples are Robbery, Theft Over $5000, and Trafficking in Controlled Substances.

Hybrid Offence
For these types of offences, the Accused is given an “election” as to mode of Trial (Ontario Court of Justice verses Superior Court of Justice). Offences that are considered moderately serious are often hybrid offences and include Fraud Under $5000, certain assault offences, minor drug possession offences, drinking and driving offences and failure to comply offences.

Absolute/Conditional Discharges
A discharge results in a finding of guilt but does not form a criminal record. An Absolute Discharge has no probation order, whereas a Conditional Discharge always has an attached Probation Order.
DISCLAIMER: The above information is not intended as actual legal advice. If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offence, please feel free to contact Passi & Patel criminal lawyers in Mississauga to arrange a no-obligation consultation to discuss you legal matter in further detail by calling 647-898-8018 today.

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Common FAQs about Impaired Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol/DUI Offences

At Passi & Patel criminal defence lawyers in Mississauga, we are regularly asked questions about “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” & “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences). In this article, we will discuss several of the more common questions we receive. Please keep in mind, this content is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as actual legal advice.
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Weapons and How They Relate to Criminal Code of Canada

When people think about weapons and criminal offences, it is common for them to think of handguns, rifles, shotguns, and knives. While it is true that these are all weapons, there are numerous other items and objects which could be construed as weapons, depending upon the manner and context which they are used.

The Criminal Code of Canada defines “weapons” as essentially any type of object, which can be used to be used to maim, wound, injure, or kill another person, or could be used to threaten to maim, wound, injure, or kill another person. This includes objects and items most people would not necessarily consider a weapon, but could potentially be used as one. In other words, the definition of the term “weapon” in the Criminal Code of Canada is broad and can apply to a number of different items.

The Criminal Code of Canada does however define restricted, prohibited, non-restricted, and imitation firearms/weapons. These definitions are further used in conjunction with specific weapons offences. For example, trafficking of a firearm, possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with the intent to traffic.
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Ontario’s New Driving Regulations – Simplified

As of January 1st, 2016, the Ministry of Transportation amended a number of “Highway Traffic Act” regulations. The amendments apply to “crossovers” as opposed to “crosswalks”. The problem is that few people appear to know the difference between a crossover and a crosswalk. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a “crossover”?
A crossover is a pedestrian crossing where signs and in many cases overhead flashing yellow lights,alert drivers to come to a stop.

What is a “crosswalk”?
A crosswalk on the other hand is used at stop signs and traffic lights in Ontario. Crosswalks often have a white walking symbol and a flashing orange hand.
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