Can I be charged with a DUI even if I wasn’t driving or the vehicle wasn’t moving (care or control)?

>>>Can I be charged with a DUI even if I wasn’t driving or the vehicle wasn’t moving (care or control)?

It is surprising to many people that in fact, you can be charged with Impaired Driving, and driving Over 80, even if the vehicle wasn’t moving. Technically, the charge is not “Impaired Driving” or “Driving Over 80”.  Section 253 of the Criminal Code indicates that it is an offence to “operate” or have “care or control” of a motor vehicle while impaired/over 80. Even if the charge against you says that you are charged with Driving While Impaired/Over80, you can still be convicted of the care or control portion.  This is because “Impaired Care and Control”, and “Care and Control Over 80”, are included offences of s. 253 under the Criminal Code.

Thus, even if you were not driving the vehicle, you can be convicted of Impaired Driving/Over 80 if you were in your vehicle and there was a reasonable risk that you might drive. Factors that the Court will consider in determining whether there is a reasonable risk include whether the vehicle was operational, whether the keys were in the ignition or in easy access of the occupant (you), whether you were located in the driver’s seat, etc.

In fact, if you were located in the driver seat, there is a presumption that you were in care or control of the vehicle.  That presumption can be rebutted by establishing that you did not occupy the driver’s seat for the purpose of setting the vehicle in motion.  But even then, the question reverts back to whether there was nevertheless a risk that the vehicle could become a danger because of your occupancy of it.

The minimum penalties for a care and control conviction are the same as if you were actually driving the vehicle, so equal effort must be put into a solid defence to these charges.

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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.