Criminal Defence Lawyer Calgary

Repeat Suspended Driver Gets 14 days

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.249(4) – Drive while Disqualified, TSA: s.94(2) – Drive while Unauthorized, CC: s.145(5) – Fail to Attend Court.

Allegations:

My client’s licence was suspended for an impaired conviction. A few months later, he was caught driving again. He had a long and related record, meaning that he has done this before. The Crown was initially seeking a period of jail for 30-60 days.

Result:

He received a sentence of 14 days, which he was able to serve on weekends only. That way, he could maintain his employment and not suffer any financial prejudice.


No Jail for Car Theft, Vandalism, Dangerous Driving, Police Chase, etc.

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.348(1)(b) x 2 – Break and Enter and Commit Theft & Mischief, s.334(b) – Theft (motor vehicle), s.811 – Breach Peace Bond, s.145(3) – Breach Recognizance, s.137 x 6 – Breach Youth Court Order, s.249(1)(a) – Dangerous driving, s.249.1 – Flight from Police, s.355(b) – Possession of Stolen Property (motor vehicle), s.252(1)(b) – Hit & Run.

Allegations:

My client had numerous charges arising from various incidents. In essence, he broke into a school and stole some valuable property, then broke into a garage and vandalized some property, including a motor vehicle. He then stole a car and drove it into Calgary. After that car ran out of gas, he stole another car and met up with a friend who had stolen a car as well. They drove their stolen cars dangerously through residential neighborhoods, causing motor vehicle accidents and fleeing from the scene. He was pursued by police and was apprehended after a foot chase, using K-9 police dogs to find him hiding underneath a parked vehicle. At the time, he was out on bail for other outstanding charges. He was also on probation for previous convictions.

Result:

The Crown was seeking a lengthy period of incarceration. He received a sentence of deferred custody and supervision. Basically, he was put on probation again. No jail.


Drugs and Loaded Firearms in National Park Charges Withdrawn

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CDSA: s. 5(2) – Possession of Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) for the Purpose of Trafficking; CC: 94 x 2 – Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm in a Vehicle, s.92(1) x 2 – Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, s.117.01(1) – Prohibited Possession of a Firearm; CNPA-NPWR: s.20(3) – Possession of a Loaded Firearm in a Vehicle.

Allegations:

While driving through Banff National Park, near Lake Louise, on her way back from BC, my client was with her boyfriend and another friend, when the RCMP pulled them over for speeding at a rate of 140 kms/hr in a 90 zone. While dealing with the driver, the police officer could detect a faint odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He detained them for a drug investigation and deployed a narcotic detection canine, who alerted police to the presence of narcotics. Police searched the vehicle and located a large quantity of magic mushrooms – three bags in the trunk, and one bag in the back seat, where my client was seated. Also found in the trunk were two firearms (rifles) and 381 rounds of ammunition. One of the rifles was loaded.

Result:

As a result of several Charter violations, and other triable issues, I tendered pleas of “not guilty” on behalf of my client and scheduled a date for a Preliminary Inquiry. Prior to this date, the Crown brought the file forward and withdrew all charges against my client. No criminal convictions.


Charges Reduced to Tickets for Crashing Vehicle into Store While Drunk

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.253(1)(a) – Impaired Driving, s.249(1)(a) – Dangerous Driving, s.335 – Take Motor Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent; TSA: s.51(a) – Drive Without a Valid Operator’s Licence, s.69(1)(a) – Fail to Remain at the Scene of an Accident, s.54(1)(a) – Drive Without Insurance.

Allegations:

My client was driving his sister’s boyfriend’s car, without his knowledge. On his way home, with his sister as a passenger, he lost control of the vehicle and drove through the store front windows of a pizza place. He fled the scene and was located at the vehicle owner’s residence a short time later, with broken glass in his clothes and blood on him and inside the vehicle driver’s seat. He was obviously impaired by alcohol. He did not have a driver’s license, nor was he insured to drive that car.

Result:

As a result of resolution discussions with the assigned Crown, the matter was brought forward from its scheduled trial date for a resolution. My client changed his pleas to guilty on only two traffic tickets (driving with no license and failing to remain at the scene of an accident). He paid fines, totaling $600, plus VFS, with three months time to pay. All other charges were withdrawn. No criminal convictions.


Found Not Guilty in Horrific Home Invasion Robbery

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.344(b) – Robbery, s.348(1)(b) – Break and Enter and Commit Robbery (Home Invasion Robbery), s.145(3) – Breach of Recognizance; YCJA: s.137 x 5 – Breach of Youth Court Order; CC: s.279(2) – Unlawful Confinement, s.268 – Aggravated Assault

Allegations:

My client, and five of her companions, left Manitoba in a stolen truck and headed toward BC, committing a string of offences on the way, including numerous gas thefts. While in Saskatchewan, an RCMP officer attempted to stop them. They initially pulled over, and then sped away as the officer approached the vehicle. They evaded the police by engaging in a dangerous high-speed chase on gravel roads. While in Alberta, they were running low on fuel and entered a farmyard, belonging to the victim. Three of them approached the front door and inquired about where they might obtain some gasoline. An elderly woman, the sole occupant of the residence, let them in while she made some calls. Upon her return to the front porch, she was severely beaten and rendered unconscious. She fell down the stairs to the basement and was assaulted again repeatedly while she lay unconscious. At this point, the others entered the residence and ransacked her home, stealing numerous items and leaving a chainsaw in the hallway. She was tied up with a dog leash and an electrical cord. Inside her purse, they found the keys to her SUV. They ditched their stolen vehicle behind a barn and sped away in their new stolen vehicle, belonging to the elderly woman. As they drove through Alberta, they purchased items with the cash and credit cards that they stole from her. My client’s boyfriend got arrested in Medicine Hat, while the others were in McDonald’s, after a witness reported him assaulting her in the parking lot. The others continued driving to BC. My client was driving at a very high rate of speed when she failed to make a corner and rolled the vehicle several times. That is when they were all finally taken into custody.

Result:

I am the only lawyer who pleaded “not guilty” on behalf of my client to these charges, and insisted on taking it to trial. All of the co-accused pleaded guilty and received extremely high sentences. My client’s brother, who appeared to be the least culpable, received the maximum jail sentence allowable under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (three years jail, plus probation for two years). The other co-accused, because they were adults, received much higher sentences; the most culpable was sentenced to six years in prison. After conducting a lengthy trial, the judge found my client “not guilty” of all charges, but did find her guilty to the lesser and included offence of theft under (instead of robbery), and to being unlawfully in a dwelling house (instead of B&E). We ordered a Pre-Sentence Report and adjourned sentencing. I persuaded the Crown to join me in a recommendation for time served, plus probation with some community service hours. The only reason she spent five months in pre-trial custody is because she fired her last lawyer for not being able to get her out on bail. I negotiated her release within a couple of weeks of being retained. Unfortunately for my client, she went AWOL and did not present herself at her sentencing, and a warrant issued for her arrest.


No Jail for Suspended Driver Driving Super Drunk Again & Crashing

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.253(1)(a) – Impaired Driving, s.254(5) – Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample, s.145(5) – Failure to Attend Court, s.253(1)(b) – Driving with Over 80 mg alcohol in blood, s.253(1)(a) – Impaired Driving, s.430(1)(a) – Mischief; TSA: s.51(a) – Driving without a Valid Licence, s.54(1)(a) – Driving without Insurance.

Allegations:

My client’s licence was suspended for driving while under the influence of alcohol. A few days later, while driving under the influence again, he struck a parked vehicle and crashed into a fence. A witness called the police. They found him to be extremely intoxicated. He refused to provide a breath sample. He then failed to attend court. A few months later, he was caught driving while under the influence of alcohol again. This time, he blew a red light, right in front of the police. Again, he was extremely intoxicated. This time, he provided samples of his breath. His readings exceeded 2.5 times the legal limit. He urinated in the holding cell.

Result:

He pleaded guilty to the refusal and one impaired charge. Everything else was withdrawn. The Crown was seeking jail on the second impaired conviction. I argued against that, given that both convictions were being entered simultaneously. The judge agreed. He received the minimum fine of $1000 on the first impaired and $2500 on the second impaired. In addition, he was placed on probation for a period of one year, in order to address his problem with alcohol. No jail.


Time Served & Probation for Multiple High Speed Chases & Stolen Property

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: 129(a) – Obstruct Peace Officer, s.334(b) – Theft x 2, s.249.1(1) – Fail to Stop Motor Vehicle in order to Evade a Peace Officer, s.430(1)(a) – Mischief, s.355(b) – Possession of Stolen Property – s.145(5) Fail to Attend Court x 3; TSA: s.53(1)(b) – Display unauthorized licence plate x 2, s.54(1)(a) – Drive without Insurance, s.94(2) – Drive while unauthorized x 3; s.166(2)(c) – Fail to Remain Stopped until Permitted to Leave by Peace Officer – PTA: s.2(1)(a) – Trespassing.

Allegations:

After having served numerous months in prison for engaging the police in a high speed car chase with his five year-old son as a passenger, my client became homeless, jobless and alone, surviving on the streets by stealing and squatting in other people’s property. After stealing gasoline, my client was pursued by the police. He initially pulled over, but then accelarated as the police officer approached his vehicle. The officer gave chase, but my client got away. 30 minutes later, the police caught up to him and again, he escaped after a high speed chase. My client had warrants for his arrest, he had no insurance and his license had been suspended for failing to pay child support. While on release for these offences, he stole a camping trailer, in order to have a place to live. Again, while on release, the police tried to detain my client for driving a vehicle with a license plate that belonged to a different vehicle. My client initially pulled over, but then sped away when the officer approached his window, causing the officer to run after the vehicle. He then engaged the police in a high speed chase, resulting in his escape, only to be tracked down and arrested shortly therafter. Again, while on release, my client continued to drive while unauthorized and with a licence plate that belonged to a different vehicle. He also failed to attend court on a few occasions. The final incident which caused him to remain detained until disposition is that he was found living inside someone’s camping trailer within the grounds of the storage facility. When the owner went to check on her trailer, she noticed that someone appeared to living inside. The police located my client hiding in the bathroom at the rear of the trailer. My client confessed to all of his crimes during police interviews.

Result:

A Pre-Sentence Report and a Psychological Assessment were completed prior to sentencing. He was sentenced to one day, no warrant of committal, taking into account nearly four months of pre-trial custody, followed by a period of probation for 18 months. He was also required to pay several fines in relation to the traffic safety offences.


Dangerous Driving Charge Reduced to a Ticket

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.249(1)(a) – Dangerous Driving

Allegations:

My client was driving one vehicle, while his friend was driving another. Both vehicles contained numerous other friends. They were driving fast through back alleys around their neighbourhood, following each other closely and causing people to jump out of the way. The alleys were very wet with numerous puddles of muddy water. A young mother was walking down the alley, holding her new born baby in her arms, when my client and his friend drove toward her, at a high rate of speed, and deliberately splashed her – twice. She and her baby were completely soaked with dirty water. As the vehicles continued driving, passengers in the second vehicle were hanging out of the window, pumping their fists, yelling “yes!”

Result:

Close to the day of trial, I persuaded the Crown to agree to resolve this matter by way of a guilty plea to a separate offence of “stunting,” under the Traffic Safety Act. The penalty consisted of only a $500 fine and 3 demerits. No criminal conviction.


No Jail for Violent Attack on Girlfriend and Car Chase Hit & Run

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.252(1)(b) – Hit and Run, s.266 – Assault, s.249(1)(a) – Dangerous Driving

Allegations:

My client met with his ex-girlfriend and her friend in a parking lot. He became enraged with her, swore at her and threatened her, then punched her in the face several times through her car window. When her friend tried to drive away, he pursued them in his truck, initially blocking their path, then chasing after them and overtaking them at a red light. When they tried to escape, by driving away in reverse, he chased after them, also in reverse, smashed into the front end of their vehicle, and then fled the scene.

Result:

On the day of trial, the complainant showed up, so he changed his plea to guilty on the assault and hit and run charges. The Crown withdrew the more serious dangerous driving charge. He paid a fine for his actions, compensated the owner of the vehicle for the cost of the insurance deductible and was placed on probation for one year. No jail.


No Jail for Suspended Driver Following 5th Impaired Conviction

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.259(4) – Drive While Disqualified and TSA; s.94(2) – Drive While Unauthorized

Allegations:

My client was caught driving while his operator’s license was suspended due to an impaired driving conviction, entered almost 12 months earlier. Because it was his 5th impaired driving conviction in the past 20 years, he was prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for 3 years.

Result:

The Crown was seeking a substantial period of incarceration and a further driving prohibition of 5 years. The standard penalty for this offence is for a period of incarceration, even for a first offence. However, the judge agreed with my submissions instead, that incarceration was not required in my client’s particular circumstances, and imposed a $2000 fine and the minimum driving prohibition of 3 years. After 12 months, he will again be eligible to drive with an alcohol ignition interlock device. No jail.


Gracia Law
100, 111 - 5th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 3Y6
Phone: (403) 9754529 URL of Map