R. v. M.
Mr. M was facing the Criminal Code charge of Drive Disqualified. It would be his second offence involving the operation of a motor vehicle. As a result, if convicted Mr. M would not only be facing the possibility of jail but the sentence would include a mandatory driving prohibition for two years. The driving prohibition would pose a significant hardship on Mr. M as he is a truck driver, and already lost a year of work due to his license being suspended.
There are many elements that the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a court to find an accused guilty of a Drive Disqualified charge. Some of the elements require the Crown to produce certain documentation. When Mr. M arrived at trial, the Crown attorney did not have the documentation they needed. The Crown’s position was that it had made efforts to get the documentation, and that if Mr. M wanted to go to trial, it would ask for an adjournment of the trial and the Crown was fairly certain the judge would grant it. As an incentive for Mr. M to resolve the matter, the Crown agreed not to ask for jail time if Mr. M plead guilty. Although Mr. M would avoid jail time, he would still have the two year driving prohibition that would directly impact his ability to get a job.
Mr. M decided to take the risk and let the Crown ask for their adjournment. Ms. Bristow contested the adjournment request, reminding the court that this has not been an easy process for Mr. M, who had been on bail for over a year, causing his much stress and anxiety that was exacerbated by his mental health issues. Ms. Bristow reminded the court of the recent 11b (unreasonable delay) decision from the Supreme Court of Canada and pointed out that only two requests were made for the documentation during the one year period. The judge agreed that the Crown should have taken more steps when it learned that the documents were not ready by the “trial readiness” judicial pre-trial and denied the Crown’s adjournment. As a result, the Crown could not prove its case the charge was dismissed.
If you have a criminal matter and would like to contact Ms. Bristow for a free consultation, please contact her by phone at 416-598-5741 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Past successes do not guarantee future successes
Here, I post various success stories I have obtained for my clients in court.