Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm: Sentence & Charges

There are many misconceptions about impaired driving causing bodily harm sentences and charges.

One of the biggest is that you must have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 (80 milligrams) or over to be charged with impaired driving. Unfortunately, this can lead people to presume, because they have not had “too many”, they cannot be charged with impaired driving. 

According to the provisions of the “Operation While Impaired” offence under paragraph 253 of the Criminal Code of Canada:

253 (1) Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

(a) while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

In other words, under the law, you can be considered “impaired” while driving a motor vehicle even if your BAC is below 80 milligrams.

Maximum sentences for impaired driving (DWI) convictions are identical to those of driving under the influence (DUI – over 80 milligrams BAC) convictions.

Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm Sentences

Canada recently introduced new, more stringent impaired driving laws and they are now among the toughest in the world. 

While the maximum penalty for summary convictions of DWI and DUI are 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fines, impaired driving causing bodily harm is a more serious, indictable offence and liable for a maximum penalty of imprisonment for a term of 10 years. In addition to fines and being liable to imprisonment, sentencing penalties can include driving prohibitions for many years following conviction.

Considering the potential severity of sentencing, you should get the legal advice of a criminal lawyer with experience and expertise in defending against impaired driving causing bodily harm charges to ensure your full rights are protected.
If you found this article helpful, check out our post “First Offence Dui: 4 Things You Should Know”.




How Long Does A Criminal Record Last For Theft?

It can seem harmless enough. No one gets hurt in a theft. At least not physically. You’ve done it before and you got away with it. You know how to get around the security and you need the money. And, after all, how long does a criminal record last for theft anyway? Especially for something like theft under $5000. Can’t be that long? Can it?

Yes, it can. It can be a lifetime.

This is how long a criminal record lasts for theft in Canada

In trying to justify the execution of a crime, people can start telling themselves things that may or may not be true. In trying to find reasons why things will work out, you can get some things confused. Like the nature of criminal charges and the criminal record that follows a conviction.

Criminal charges, and the sentences you may have to serve, vary based on the seriousness of the crime. Of course, without extenuating circumstances, the sentence for being convicted of murder will be much more serious than the sentence for a theft conviction.

Even within certain criminal offense categories, like theft, sentences can vary widely. The sentence for a theft under $5000 conviction will be substantially less than that for another form of theft like robbery.

But there is one consequence of being convicted of a criminal act that lasts for the same amount of time regardless of the seriousness of the crime.

In Canada, if you don’t get a criminal record suspension, your criminal conviction will be on your record for life. For a theft under $5000 convictions: life. For an armed robbery conviction: life.

That means you’ll have to endure all the difficulties of having a criminal record for the rest of your life, including difficulty in being allowed to travel outside the country, difficulty in finding a job, even difficulty in going back to school.

That’s why, if you’ve been charged with theft, you need expert legal advice and representation that specializes in fighting theft charges to minimize the impact of the charges on your record, and your life.

If you found this post helpful, check out our recent post about what to do when you’re accused of fraud.  




How To Get Domestic Assault Charges Dropped In Ontario

Let’s just get the biggest myth about being charged with domestic assault out of the way before we go any further. You cannot get domestic assault charges dropped in Ontario if the complainant decides to withdraw the charges. Canadian law says that victims of an assault cannot simply drop criminal charges against the accused. 

But that doesn’t mean that a victim who wants to withdraw domestic violence charges can’t help in having charges dropped.   

3 Ways to Get Domestic Assault Charges Dropped in Ontario

  1. Hire a Specialized Lawyer – Only the Crown Attorney’s office can have charges withdrawn. That makes the best thing you can do to maximize your chances of having the charges dropped is to hire an expert criminal assault lawyer who specializes in domestic cases of assault.

  2. Recants – Victims in assault cases can recant their statements that support the charges. By itself, a recant will not get the charges dropped. But a recant tells the Crown Prosecutor that the chances of conviction are somewhat mitigated and that may be enough to persuade the Crown to drop charges.

  3. Your Criminal Defence Lawyers Negotiate with The Crown – The circumstances of your case may result in the withdrawal of charges. This can include if they are less serious charges, it’s a first offence, you have no criminal record, there were no children present during the assault and/or it was an isolated incident. Your defence lawyer can engage in pre-trial discussions with the Crown Prosecutor to have the charges dropped.

If you found this article helpful, check out our recent post about what to do when you’re accused of fraud




Charged With Credit Card Fraud? Here’s What You Should Know

One of the first things that people charged with credit card fraud don’t realize is how seriously the Crown treats the charges against them. Victims of credit card fraud can face serious, long-term consequences. These can include low credit report scores that can affect their ability to buy a home, a car or start a business. So federal laws are particularly severe in an effort to prevent more people from becoming victims.

What to Know if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud

In addition to stiffer penalties, anyone charged with using stolen credit card information can face a number of other consequences they may not be prepared for.

  1. Who Can Be Found Guilty – The Criminal Code of Canada says that anyone who steals a credit card, forges or falsifies a credit card or knowingly possesses, uses or traffics an unauthorized credit card, or credit card number, can be found guilty of an offence. This can even include using your own credit card number, knowing that it has expired, been revoked or cancelled.

  2. You May Be Charged with More than One Offence – The offence(s) you can be charged with include credit card theft and trafficking credit card data.

  3. You Don’t Need to Steal or Possess a Stolen Card to Be Guilty – If you possess, use or traffic credit card account data, or other personal data of a victim that can be used to illegally get credit cards or other credit card data, you can still be found guilty of credit card fraud charges. That data includes illegally possessing a credit card account number and expiration date.

  4. You Don’t Need to Use a Credit Card or Credit Card Data to Be Found Guilty – You can be found guilty of credit card fraud merely by illegally possessing personal information from a credit card, even if you don’t make any unauthorized transactions.

If you found this article helpful, check out our recent post about how long a speeding ticket stays on your record in Ontario.




What is the Law for Drinking and Boating?

photo credit tc.gc.ca

photo credit tc.gc.ca

As winter ends and Canada heats back up to a reasonable temperature, many Canadians flock to the water to bask in the often short-lived summer heat. There are tons of boating possibilities across the country’s numerous lakes, from renting a houseboat with friends, to fishing, to hopping in a neighbour’s motorboat for a ride.

This is a time to socialize and let the cares of the world drift away, a ritual that often includes a few cold drinks on a boat deck. It’s important to note that in Canada, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence. Continue reading





Fight driving tickets and criminal charges

Should you fight driving tickets and criminal charges?

So, you’ve just been given a driving ticket and are wondering what to do. Perhaps you know you did wrong and think you should just pay the penalty, like any good citizen.

Or perhaps that light wasn’t actually red when you drove through it, or maybe you’re fairly sure that you were driving well within the 30kph speed limit. But it’s your word against the cops, and why should they believe you?

Or perhaps you are an Ontario resident driving in New York (or a New Yorker driving in Ontario) and didn’t realize that there is a reciprocal agreement between the province of Ontario and the state of New York; so drivers convicted of a traffic ticket in the state of New York will have home jurisdiction penalties such as demerit points and /or suspensions applied to their Ontario driver record as if the offence occurred in Ontario.

One thing is for sure – you realize that this driving ticket could taint your otherwise spotless driving record and haunt you financially for years to come.

And regardless of the rights or wrongs of your case, getting pulled over and given a driving ticket can be an extremely stressful time. You should be aware of the implications of being convicted of even a minor driving offence. A conviction could lead to fines or demerit points on your license. A guilty verdict for major traffic or criminal offences can include harsher punishments such as driver license suspension or worse, jail time. These charges can also affect your insurance premiums.

So what should you do?

First, you have to weigh your options. Fair or unfair, when you get a ticket there is a window of opportunity to fight it or plead your case. You can decide to take your chances in court alone or choose to enlist the help of legal experts to help you fight the charge.

X-COPPER is one such legal firm that has a team of experienced paralegals and former police officers to fight for you and your best interests to ensure a positive outcome. X-COPPER has successfully defended clients on a wide variety of traffic offences including:

They have also successfully defended clients against criminal charges relating to Impaired Driving,
Refusing to Provide a Breath or Blood Sample,
Drunk driving (Over 80mg), Dangerous Driving and Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm.

And X-COPPER have had good outcomes in cases involving COMMERCIAL VEHICLE OFFENCES such as Logbook violations, Overweight vehicle, Unsafe Vehicle, Speeding, Collisions, and Other Commercial Vehicle Offences.

Choosing to fight your ticket with a legal firm such as X-COPPER, no matter the charge or if you are guilty of the offence, could help you to protect your good driving record, and keep your insurance rates low. Their years of experience will help you to defend your rights throughout the legal process so as to avoid any negative consequences. And their legal advice comes at a price you can probably afford.

Ultimately, the goal of firms like X-COPPER is to remove all charges against you. Their paralegals are licensed to provide you with services in accordance with, and authorized by The Law Society of Upper Canada. As a client, this means that you will always be provided with professional and confidential representation during the process. X-COPPER will work to protect your demerit points and driver’s license and, should the need arise, will strive to negotiate the lowest possible fine and remove the possibility of jail time.

X-Copper Legal Services Professional Corporation offers a full range of legal services to individuals and businesses in Canada and in the states of New York and Michigan. Their success is the result of the expertise of their legal representatives who are among the most highly qualified and experienced in North America.

So if you’ve got that driving ticket and are wondering what to do, perhaps your first step should be to click for a no obligation free online quote, or call 1-888-X-COPPER (1-888-926-7737).




St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

This weekend is known for it’s green beer, Kiss Me I’m Irish shirts, and leprechaun hats. If you decide to join the masses for the festivities, plan a safe ride home. The consequences of operating a vehicle after tipping a few can get quite serious.

Depending on your height and weight, even one drink could put you in the warning zone and two could put you over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. If you are pulled over, either by a police car on the road, or through a R.I.D.E check point they will ask you to take a breath test if there is any suspicion that you may be under the influence. Blowing over will land you charged and potentially convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada.

There are two offences pertaining to impaired driving listed in the Criminal Code of Canada. Section 253(1)(a) states that it is illegal to operate, or to have care or control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Section 253(1)(b) states that it is illegal to operate, or to have care or control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.08 percent. For those of you out there who think they’ll simply just refuse to do what the police say and not give a sample, not so fast. Refusing to comply is just as bad, with identical penalties as a conviction.

Avoid a criminal record and be safe this weekend! Call a cab, have a designated driver, take public transit or stay over night.

If things don’t go as planned, and you do end up facing impaired driving-related charges, call X-Copper Legal Services. We can help you through it.




Holiday Ride Program 2012

As the holiday season approaches, the “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” or RIDE for short, programs will come into full swing. Chances are that you will be stopped at some point by an officer at one of these check points.

When approaching these check points here are a few things to keep in mind….

  • Slow down, drive cautiously.
  • Have all your documents handy. You don’t need to produce them unless the police ask. If asked you will be required to produce your vehicle ownership, proof of insurance and your license.
  • Don’t take off your seatbelt. You should wear your seatbelt in your car at all times. Do not take if off for any reason when approaching the RIDE program. You can receive a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt.
  • Don’t reach for your phone. It is against the law to use a personal communication device when you are driving the car, even if it’s a red light or a RIDE program.
  • Stay Calm. Cooperate fully with the police and ensure your passengers act responsibly and courteously.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive. Play it safe, don’t be on the road after you drink.
  • Road Side Sample. If the officer asks you to provide a road side sample YOU MUST PROVIDE IT. You can be charged if you refuse to provide a breath sample if demanded to do so by police.

If you get charged this holiday season, learn and know your rights! Call X-Copper at 1-888-X-COPPER (926-7737) for a Free no obligation consultation. We will review with you all your documents, and explain all your options to you, giving you all the tools you need to make an informed decision.




QandA – DUI Q2

“My licence was suspended and I got a ticket for having alcohol in my system because I have a novice (G2) driver’s licence. I only had one drink and I was the designated driver. This doesn’t seem fair, what should I do?”

QandADon’t be fooled by the relatively low fine on this ticket. It does not carry any demerit points; however due to the nature of the offence and with it being alcohol related, a conviction will severely impact your insurance premiums. The conviction also carries an automatic 30 day licence suspension.

For more information on Ontario DUI charges or Impaired Driving please Contact X-Copper to find out how we can help save your licence.