You can be charged with impaired driving if your ability to operate a motor vehicle is compromised by the effects of alcohol or drugs (for example, see here for our Barrie DUI lawyer’s discussion of what to expect if you are stopped for suspected marijuana–impaired driving).
HOW A DUI LAWYER CAN HELP YOU WITH AN IMPAIRED DRIVING CHARGE
An impaired driving conviction comes with significant consequences and penalties that can greatly impact your ability to drive, work, and travel. Having an experienced criminal defence lawyer by your side will ensure that you know what to expect and the full extent of how a DUI conviction will impact your life. At the outset, your DUI lawyer will explain exactly what criminal offence you have been charged with (e.g., driving under the influence, failure to provide a breath sample), and under which law (e.g., Canada’s Criminal Code, Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, or an impaired driving law in other province or state), so that you can fully understand your legal rights and options, including what defences are available, and whether you should plead guilty or not.
PENALTIES FOR A DUI CONVICTION
Your DUI lawyer will also explain the full range of potential consequences of a DUI conviction. Penalties for a first-time conviction can include loss of your driver’s licence for one year, a minimum fine of $1,000, and in certain circumstances, prison time. Consequences will differ if it is your second, third or further conviction. For example, a second-time conviction can result in loss of your driver’s licence for three years and comes with a minimum 30 days jail sentence. Penalties increase with each further conviction and may result in a lifetime driver’s licence suspension.
AN IMPAIRED DRIVING CONVICTION CAN IMPACT YOUR ABILITY TO WORK
A DUI conviction results in a criminal record, which will show up in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and police databases. As such, a criminal record has the potential to cost you future employment and educational opportunities as the conviction will come up when a record or background check is performed. A licence suspension will also impact your employability in a significant way if you need to drive for work or if you commute to and from work.
OTHER WAYS A DUI CONVICTION CAN IMPACT YOUR LIFE
As part of the conditions of getting your license reinstated, you may also be subject to the Ignition Interlock Program and be required to attend Ontario’s remedial measures program. The fees for each of these programs are in addition to the monetary fine that comes with the conviction itself. You may also have to pay vehicle impound costs, towing fees, and license reinstatement fees. You will be subject to increased insurance premiums as you will be considered a “high risk” driver. It is also important to note that because a DUI conviction results in a criminal record, there may be travel implications. You run the risk of being denied entry when travelling across the border from Canada to the United States. Under certain circumstances you may be able to apply for a “record suspension” (also known as a “pardon”). Contact our Barrie drunk driving lawyer to learn more about the process of having a criminal record removed from public access.
GET ADVICE FROM DAVID WILCOX, DUI LAWYER IN BARRIE
The criminal defence lawyer at our firm can help, no matter what your circumstances are. If you have been charged with drug or alcohol impaired driving and want to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you explore all possible defences, contact David Wilcox today. We will guide you through the court process and ensure you make an informed decision about whether to plead guilty or not guilty. You can use our eForm or call us toll-free at 1-855-721-6642 to request your free 30-minute initial consultation with our Barrie criminal defence lawyer. If you need emergency legal services, David’s phone line is available 24 hours a day.