What are the best defences to a driving while disqualified charge?

>>>What are the best defences to a driving while disqualified charge?

police officer pulling car over

The best defence to your driving while disqualified charge will depend heavily on the unique facts of your case, as well as your personal circumstances and the circumstances of the offence. As we do not list all of the defences available for this particular charge, in order to determine the most effective way to defend your charges please contact one of our criminal defence lawyers.

One effective way of defending your driving while disqualified charge is to argue that you were not properly informed of your driving prohibition. If you are disqualified from driving, section 260(1) of the Criminal Code requires that the order which declares your disqualification is read to you; that a copy of the order is given to you; and that you are informed of the consequences of driving while disqualified. If one or more of the components set out in section 260(1) are not met, you may be able to argue that you did not have the knowledge required to be found guilty of this offence.

It is important to note that there are statutory provisions that will create a presumption that you knew that you had a provincial disqualification, even if the conditions in 260(1) are not met. This is relevant if you receive a provincial suspension alongside a court-ordered suspension under the Criminal Code. Specifically, section 260(4) of the Criminal Code states that in absence of evidence to the contrary, if a notice of disqualification has been mailed to you by the provincial government through registered or certified mail, you will be deemed to have knowledge of the disqualification 5 days after the notice was mailed.

Another effective way to defend a driving while disqualified charge is to argue that you were not actually operating a motor vehicle at the time of the offence. For example, this would be a relevant defence if you had been arrested while getting out of the driver’s seat of a parked car. If you did not drive that vehicle at the time of the alleged offence, and if the police did not see you drive that vehicle, there is likely insufficient proof to establish that you actually operated a motor vehicle while disqualified.

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All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.