For some, a DUI attorney is the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict. For more, they are the best chance at preventing jail time and/or reducing sentences. A Toronto DUI attorney is your best chance for fair representation.
The most common DUI offences in Toronto are:
- Impaired driving
- Driving over 80
- Fail to provide breath sample
Any of these results in immediate suspension of license and your vehicle being impounded. If you are convicted, especially for multiple offences the consequences are more severe.
When you are charged with driving under the influence, the first thing you need to do is learn your options.
I’ve Been Charged With a DUI, What Can I Do?
What can you do when you are charged with a DUI? You are going to have to choose your representation. This leaves you with two options:
- Represent yourself
- Hire a private DUI lawyer
We always recommend that you contact a Toronto DUI attorney for a consultation before making this decision. A consultation will layout your options and the potential costs without having to commit. Top criminal lawyers in Toronto will advise honestly on whether or not you need a DUI attorney.
Hiring a DUI Attorney for Plea Bargaining
The judges and prosecution generally prefer not to deal directly with self-represented persons. It creates a number of liabilities that they prefer to avoid. However, they do deal with such persons every day. The biggest concern in self-representation is that you significantly reduce your chance of the best possible outcome.
A local DUI lawyer will have more experience and a better understanding of local laws. As well as relationships with judges and prosecutors. Hiring a DUI attorney for plea bargaining will drastically improve your results. Your best chance at preventing jail time is with aid of a private lawyer.
An Experienced DUI Attorney Knows the Process
Familiarity with the process of defending DUI offence charges is invaluable. Experienced DUI lawyers know the deadlines and filing protocol. While this may sound like a glorification of dotting i’s and crossing t’s, it is one of the most important roles a lawyer can play.
Failure to request evidence in a timely manner can change the outcome of a case. For example, if there was misconduct by the arresting officer his body cam or dash cam can assist in having charges dismissed.
Failure to request evidence could result in long delays, the evidence no longer being available, and could impact the outcome of the case. It may even result in a jail sentence instead of a not guilty verdict.
Is Hiring a DUI Attorney Worth the Costs?
From an immediate look, hiring a DUI attorney in Toronto is more expensive than representing yourself. But, long-term an attorney will end up costing you less – both in quantifiable and non-quantifiable terms.
It’s proven that experienced DUI attorneys cost you less in the long run and get you better results. Also, you get peace of mind knowing a professional is taking care of you. A lawyer drastically increases your chances of being found not guilty. There are fewer court appearances, meaning that you miss less work.
A DUI attorney may be able to have your impaired driving charges reduced to careless driving or dangerous driving. This saves you thousands of dollars each year on insurance alone. Lower jail sentences and short driving prohibition periods are also real possibilities with a top criminal defence lawyer.
Lessened fines and lower insurance rate hikes can mean significant long-term savings. Add that in with avoiding lost work or jail time and representing yourself starts to look a lot more expensive.
Can I Use Legal Aid for a DUI?
I want a lawyer but can’t afford one, can I use Legal Aid for a DUI? It is possible to qualify for Legal Aid in Ontario to fight DUI charges. But you have to meet specific eligibility requirements.
Legal Aid Ontario issues aid through a certificate program. The certificate is used to pay for legal services and will have a limit to the hours that can be used. To qualify for Legal Aid you must meet specific financial and legal criteria.
Examples of legal qualifications that may qualify you for DUI Legal Aid include:
- Emergency Situations:
- You could go to jail
- Vulnerable Group:
- Mental health or addiction issues
- You identify as Inuit, First Nation, or Metis
Financial qualifications are based primarily on your gross family income. If you meet these qualifications you may get support outright or be enrolled in a contribution agreement.
Meeting the qualifications for Legal Aid is no guarantee of receiving a certificate. Their usual position is that if you can afford a car you can afford a lawyer.
Getting a Pardon for A DUI Conviction
We all make mistakes, but they don’t have to haunt you for the rest of your life. If you have a DUI conviction, you may be eligible for a pardon. The top criminal lawyers in Toronto can identify your eligibility and help you apply for a record suspension, aka a pardon.
To get a pardon for a DUI you will need to meet some criteria, including a good driving record. First and foremost, you need to have paid the initial fine. You also need to wait five years or more before applying. Any traffic violations between the conviction and this period can be used against your pardon application.
Benefits of Hiring a DUI Attorney in Toronto
- Lower Conviction Rates
- Reduced Sentences (ie. reduction from Impaired Driving to Careless Driving)
- Experienced Representation
- Prevent or Reduce Jail Time
- Shorter License Suspensions
- Plea Bargaining
- Professional Guidance
- Familiarity With Procedure
- Knowledge of Local Laws
- Getting a Record Suspension
The best criminal lawyers in Toronto understand and respect your circumstances. With William Jaksa you get an experienced DUI attorney who cares about your needs. For trust, experience, and communication contact Jaksa today.