Criminal Driving Lawyers Calgary

What is Criminal Driving?

Criminal driving encompasses multiple motor vehicle offences in the Criminal Code, and is different from charges under the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta (e.g. impaired driving vs careless driving). With a criminal charge, the Calgary Police Service will take your photograph and fingerprints and you will have a police file. A conviction for criminal driving charges may result in a criminal record, whereas convictions under the Traffic Safety Act will only appear on your Driver’s Abstract.

One of the most common types of criminal driving offences in Calgary is impaired driving, resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Statistics Canada reports that Calgary ranks 15th out of 35 major Canadian cities for impaired driving, faring considerably better than Edmonton. The Calgary Police Service is cracking down nonetheless, and these types of charges typically require legal assistance to navigate the complexities of trial.

Criminal driving offences can be found under Section 320 of the Criminal Code. Criminal driving is not an offence in and of itself, but is rather an umbrella term that includes the following offences:

What is required to be convicted of criminal driving differs based on the offence. With these offences, it is the actions inside the vehicle that are the key elements of the offence, so it is critical to be precise about the circumstances surrounding the driving of the vehicle.

In most criminal driving cases, a conviction may result in harsh penalties that could include mandatory sentencing. Punishments can include jail time, fines, the loss of your driver’s license, and/or a lifelong criminal record.

Calgary Criminal Driving Lawyers

Investigation of Criminal Driving Charges in Calgary

The Calgary Police Service takes driving offences seriously. They are equipped with a large team of law enforcement officers to maintain traffic safety in the city. If you are stopped by police, you will be routinely checked for driving credentials, and for your license to drive the vehicle that you are operating.

Given the list of offences included under “criminal driving,” many different events can prompt driving offence investigations. An investigation may be initiated by a routine police stop at the side of the road, an accident, or following a report or complaint from an alleged witness or victim.

In their investigation, the police will likely consult surveillance camera footage as well as written statements from the alleged complainant and witnesses. If they believe you are the perpetrator, they will arrest you, whether at the scene of an accident or later.

Penalties for Criminal Driving Charges in Calgary

Because of the broad range of offences classified as “criminal driving,” punishments for a conviction are diverse. They include both criminal penalties imposed by the Calgary court system, and driving suspensions imposed by provincial traffic laws. For example, unique to impaired driving is the addition of an administrative driving suspension that runs alongside, yet separate to criminal charges

In most cases, criminal driving charges do not result in a jail sentence, provided there are no aggravating circumstances and you have a relatively clean criminal record.

However, a conviction for criminal driving can have many negative consequences on your future, nonetheless. You may experience problems securing employment in the field of your choice, especially in roles that require driving. The lifelong criminal record that results from a conviction can also hinder immigration and travel.

Rest assured, our lawyers will work hard to defend you so that you are not saddled with the consequences of a conviction for criminal driving. In fact, we can canvass a range of sentencing options with the Prosecutors that will either leave you with no criminal record or impose minimal restrictions on your liberty after sentencing. To learn more about potential non-criminal resolutions, please visit our Resolutions page, or read our FAQ on resolutions and other sentencing options.

Calgary Criminal Driving Lawyers

Defending Criminal Driving Charges in Calgary

What are the best defences to criminal driving charges in Calgary?

Because of the list of offences that fall under the umbrella of “criminal driving,” and the varied circumstances involved in such charges, there are many different possible defences. It is important for your criminal defence lawyer to review the facts of your case and prepare your defence accordingly.

Our experienced lawyers will use the most effective defence against the charges according to the precise circumstances of your case.

For more detailed information on defending your criminal driving charge, see the practice area pages specific to your offence.

How can I help defend criminal driving charges in Calgary?

Because a criminal driving charge relates to the actions you took inside your vehicle, it is essential to clarify the circumstances surrounding these actions and any resulting collision.

If you have been charged with criminal driving in Calgary, the following can help your lawyer build a strong defence:

  • Make a statement about what happened;
  • Have passengers write down their observations of what happened;
  • Collect and maintain all documents and records about the event;
  • Gather any photographic evidence that you may have; and
  • Log any relevant texts, emails or phone calls.

What information is relevant will depend on the facts of your case. As soon as you are released, you should start to gather any information that may be of use to your lawyer. If you are uncertain what information may be relevant, you should contact one of our lawyers immediately to create a plan of action for gathering information.

If you are truly proactive about the matter, consider doing the following:

  • Secure proof of employment,
  • Secure reference letters,
  • Enroll in counselling (e.g. alcohol or drug rehabilitation),
  • Secure a record of prescriptions, and
  • Secure a record of any mental health conditions you suffer from.

These steps can be very helpful in building an effective defence (or convincing the Prosecutor to drop the charges altogether).

What can a lawyer do to help me defend against criminal driving charges in Calgary?

As we start preparing your defence by examining police actions and the evidence against you, there are certain strategies that can be used to aid your cause.

Some of these strategies include the following:

  • Assembling documents, photos, texts, etc. that contradict the allegation and support your version of events;
  • Identifying mistakes in the actions of the police, such as Charter breaches; and
  • Uncovering administrative/systemic errors, such as “Jordan delay,” non-disclosure, lost or destroyed evidence, etc.

Our experienced defence lawyers will use the most effective defence against the charges according to the precise circumstances of your case. Even if the charges proceed and you are found guilty, a good lawyer can significantly reduce the severity of the consequences for you.

What’s Next?

The information above relates to the umbrella of criminal driving cases but does not delve into offence-specific details.

We have tried our best to provide a general outline of what you can expect if you find yourself in this situation, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

For more specific information, please see our criminal driving offence pages below:

To learn more about how we can help, please contact our team of Criminal Driving Lawyers. We will conduct a thorough review of your situation and tailor a precise strategy that targets your successful defence.

Criminal Driving FAQ

  1. What are the best defences to a dangerous driving charge?
  2. How can I get my dangerous driving charges dropped?
  3. What is driving while disqualified?
  4. What are the best defences to driving while disqualified charge?

See More

Client Reviews

Michael Oykhman is a very professional lawyer and the first time I spoke to him he asked about my situation and he gave me some very helpful advice and assistance and also told me his odds of winning this case. During the days I was in contact with micheal I could feel the level of professionalism of him and his team, he is able to respond back to you with any questions you have within 24 hours. In the end he was as successful in helping me win my case as he had initially promised me.If you are still struggling to find a lawyer, I highly recommend Michael Oykhman.

R.W.

Please give yourself a favour and contact Mr. Michael Oykhman if you need any legal advice or if you are in a terrible situation. Even-tough, the odds are not in your favour, still they will go extra miles to help you out in bad situation and get you favourable outcome. Moreover, They will work on your file even after the business hours. I don’t have words to say thanks to Mr. Michael oykhman and Kiran Cheema who had worked on my file and get me out of trouble. I’m very grateful for your assistance and exceptional service. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Y.

I am grateful that Ms. Moira McAvoy was my lawyer, and I remain thankful to her for everything. She made a successful resolution to my case possible. Ms. Moira McAvoy is a professional, trustworthy lawyer, and a compassionate person. She is an excellent listener and knowledgeable of the law. From the start, she was an excellent guide. I did not know anything about the legal system and court, and she outlined everything clearly in advance, so I could understand things. She never rushed me through anything. She spoke clearly, explained everything, considered what I said, and provided options and advice. She kept me up to date on new information, requirements, and deadlines. She was always positive and this helped so much.

C.S.

Ryan Patmore and his team are simply the best. I was bullied by CPS in 2020 and it landed me with three separate charges, assault, refusal to blow and DUI, which all went down as I was parked at a friends. After some research and a conversation with Michael, he directed me towards Ryan and at the time I didn’t know that would be a game changer in my favour! He is honest, transparent, helpful and a brilliant mind. He successfully appealed my license suspension with ATSB and then proceeded to get the crown to dismiss all my charges before trial. I never had to step foot inside a courtroom. If you are in need of a criminal defence lawyer, don’t think twice, get in touch with this firm and ask for Ryan Patmore! The guy is an absolute saviour.

A.P.

Joseph Beller, from the very beginning when I first contacted and then retained Joseph as my representative I felt I was in good hands. When I emailed him with a question. I got a prompt response. We communicated often on the phone as needed. Joseph kept me informed as to the process. He made sure I knew all the potential results so I knew and could plan for the different outcomes. I know this his his job. But appreciate his professionalism and also his ability to not make me feel any extra stress. Well done.

N.B.
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