Driving in Canada is a privilege, requiring compliance with all of the rules of the road. While a privilege, driving is often necessary to obtain and retain employment, support a family, and complete the errands needed to maintain a household. Although many driving offences have been decriminalized, enough remain with significant penalties, including demerits, loss of licence, and even jail time, that to protect your driving privileges, you need to consult with an experienced driving offences lawyer if you are facing prosecution.
Your driving privileges are very important. That is why it’s so essential to engage the skilled services of an experienced driving offences lawyer right away. The knowledgeable lawyers of Bulwark Law provide the high-quality legal services you need when facing the loss of your driving privileges and other potentially serious penalties.
What Are Driving Offences in Calgary?
Driving offences are prosecuted both criminally and non-criminally, depending on the severity of the charges.
Careless driving is driving without reasonable care and attention to others, which means drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Although careless driving is not prosecuted criminally, the consequences are still significant. You might be facing a fine of up to $2000, six demerit points on your licence, and a possible licence suspension. In addition, your automobile insurance premiums might skyrocket.
Dangerous driving is a criminal offence. Excessive speeding, street racing, certain aggressive driving maneuvers, driving while intoxicated on alcohol or drugs, and failure to stop or leave the scene of an accident are all criminally prosecuted in Calgary. Driving when disqualified is also criminally sanctioned.
In addition to having a criminal record that will follow you, thus inhibiting employment and your future, penalties for various driving offences can be significant. For the least serious driving offences, the penalty is usually fine, but for more serious offences, where bodily injury or death occurs, the sentence can be up to 14 years or life, respectively. In addition, for many driving offences, there are mandatory minimum punishments in place.
Driving Offence Cases We Handle
At Bulwark Law, our lawyers know how to defend against regulatory and criminal driving to protect our clients’ essential driving privileges. Although we represent clients in all driving prosecutions, our most common cases involve DUI, immediate roadside suspension, dangerous driving and suspended licence proceedings.
DUI: Driving under the influence, referred to as impaired driving, includes driving while intoxicated by alcohol and under the influence of drugs. DUI is a criminal offence, though the police may proceed under the Immediate Roadside Suspension program below.
Canadian law establishes that the prohibited blood alcohol concentration is 80 milligrams or more of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. Alberta sanctions DUI with even less alcohol in the blood. You can lose your driving privileges summarily for registering between .05% and .079%. Testing for drugs is a bit trickier. THC is the potent inebriating ingredient of cannabis. Two to 5 nanograms of THC constitutes DUI, with concentrations over five nanograms penalized more harshly. Blood tests can confirm the presence of other intoxicants. The police and prosecution are more likely to proceed with a criminal DUI charge when there is an accident or injury or if a person has previously been convicted of DUI.
Immediate Roadside Suspension: Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs can have disastrous consequences: significant bodily harm, permanent disability, property damage, and even death. Therefore, Alberta has made it easier to prosecute DUI and suspended some of our most common rights when confronting any driver, whether intoxicated or not. For example, a driver detained for an investigation into dangerous driving, or even at a random stop, does not have the right to counsel. And failure to submit to that roadside investigation by refusing to submit to a breath test can result in immediate seizure of the motor vehicle and suspension of your licence to drive.
Alberta has added to the penalties for a conviction under the Immediate Roadside Suspension program. For the first offence in 10 years, there will be an immediate 90-day driver’s licence suspension and an additional one-year driving suspension where you must agree to an Ignition Interlock Program as a condition for continued driving privileges after the 90-day suspension. Your vehicle will be seized for 30 days, and to get it back, you must participate in a Planning Ahead course. A 20% victim fine surcharge is added to the $1,000 fine. A second offence also results in a 30-day vehicle seizure, an increased fine of $2,000, and a 20% victim fine surcharge. Licence suspension is for three years unless you agree to an Ignition Interlock Program. A third offence results in licence suspension for life.
Suspended License: Driving while disqualified is a charge for operating a motor vehicle while your driver’s licence has been suspended. The severity of the penalties upon conviction is intended to deter sanctioned drivers whose privileges have been revoked or suspended as part of the penalty for a prior offence. A conviction for driving while disqualified can include fines, mandatory jail time, and additional licence suspensions of several years.
How Can a Driving Offences Lawyer Help You?
You should never represent yourself in a driving offences case. It’s essential to hire an experienced and knowledgeable driving offences lawyer who can investigate the police to challenge their methods and conclusions—including how they obtained evidence and witness testimony. In addition, a skillful driving offences lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors, develop an effective defence strategy, and prepare for trial if needed.
A prosecutor facing defence lawyers with a long record of success is a lot more likely to consider withdrawing charges or charging for lesser offences. Your future, and that of your family, requires rigorous defence right from the start. Don’t hesitate to contact Bulwark Law for the help you need.
Contact Bulwark Law Today
If you are facing criminal driving offences, you need skilled legal representation. Bulwark Law can provide it. Our experienced lawyers have a reputation amongst judges and prosecutors in Calgary and throughout Alberta for aggressively representing our clients with a full understanding of criminal law and procedure. Contact us online or call 403 678 7360 to arrange your free initial consultation.