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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. (read more…)

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”! (read more…)

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. (read more…)

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: (read more…)

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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.

(read more…)