Vancouver Criminal Law


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Traffic Violations and Your Driving Record

Traffoc Violations and your driving record

Many people do not realize the impact that a traffic ticket can have on their driving record. A Novice or Learner driver, in particular, is at a great risk for having a license suspension with even one driving infraction. The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has the power to suspend the driver’s license of any person if it is of the opinion that the driving record is unsatisfactory and a prohibition is in the public interest. This broad power is to be used at the discretion of the Superintendent. This means that any time you receive a conviction for...

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Refusal IRPs

Refusal IRP

Earlier this week we announced that the Sivia case has been appealed. One aspect of this appeal relates to the Court’s decision that IRPs for refusing or failing to comply with an ASD test are constitutional. In our view, they are not. Not even close. Even though the Sivia case is under appeal, the police are still issuing Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for refusal. We also have clients who have filed Petitions to the Court after their failure to blow IRPs were upheld on review. The Government is refusing to grant stays of driving prohibitions and other consequences for individuals who received refusal...

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3, 7 and 30-day Immediate Driving Prohibitions for Warn

IRP for Warn

The most repugnant aspect of the IRP scheme in our view is the reliance on Approved Screening Devices for punishment. ASDs were never intended to be the basis of punishment. Firstly, the test is taken in violation of sections 10(a) and 10(b) of the Charter of Rights. Because of the Charter violations the courts have consistently concluded that the results cannot be used against an accused for punishment or to speak to the physical state of the accused. The results can only be used by an officer to form an opinion regarding whether to take further action. So there are limits...

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Time is up

As we have explained before, many British Columbians are waiting for decisions on their request to extend the 7-day period to file to review their IRP. Until earlier this week there was a moratorium on rendering these decisions. Either the Government instructed the OSMV to stop rendering decisions or the OSMV took it upon themselves to stop rendering decisions. In any event, we believe that this was an effort to block people from accessing the Court to obtain justice. Some background: On November 30, 2011, the BC Supreme Court ruled that the law where you were issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition...

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Some Big News re: IRPs

Big News re IRPs

In case you missed the newscast on CTV this evening, we can now confirm that the lead case in the Immediate Roadside Prohibition judicial review decisions handed down November 30, 2011 and December 23, 2011, (i.e. Sivia v. The Superintendent) is now under appeal. The documents were filed January 20, 2012. The appeal deals with the finding concerning alleged refusal cases. We expect that it will be widened to cover other matters as further investigation and legal research is conducted. There is a significant amount of material that was not available to the Court when the original petition was conducted. It...

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OSMV Under Scrutiny

OSMV - Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles

The BC Supreme Court seems to be taking an increasingly dim view of the decision making process at the OSMV. Just last Thursday the Court terminated a 1-year driving prohibition because "[i]t was  arbitrary, and completely unreasonable to issue a prohibition on the level of proof offered by the officer." If you received an IRP and conducted a review, no doubt you have formed your own opinion of the process. There is little more to be added to what the Court already stated in Spencer and Wang, which is the decision from January 24, 2012. Here are some interesting comments from the...

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Personal Financial Decisions

Each person who receives an Immediate Roadside Prohibition suffers the consequences in their own way. For some it is not too great an inconvenience. Some wealthy people simply go on a three month vacation. Others hire a driver. But for normal people, who often drive as part of their work, the consequences are dire. A significant number of British Columbians are living paycheque to paycheque, struggling to make the mortgage payments, keep food on the table and cover everyday expenses. For these people an IRP is a devastating blow. If you end up serving the entire IRP, it could mean the...

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Perverse incentive

Perverse incentive. Tastes great, but it makes you fat.

Often things in life do not work out as planned. For example, when the Government introduced the IRP scheme with the wide publicity that this was harsher punishment for alleged over-.05 drivers, we noticed an uptick in calls from people who had failed to stop at the scene of a collision. This is the manifestation of a perverse incentive. Thankfully most cases involved clipping, bumping or knocking the mirrors off of parked cars. Some people did not know what they hit. It seems likely that people were discouraged from stopping at the scene because of the fear of the new harsh...

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We Love Our Clients

We love our clients

There are days that being a criminal defence lawyer can be a thankless job. Many people don't understand our role, (until they need us) and others lament our very existence. But we're tough and we know that our work has meant a lot to our clients over the years. We've received some great feedback from our former clients. We really appreciate the kind comments. Often this helps us to keep our momentum. Every few months we post some of the comments on our testimonial page. Many we put aside because for whatever reason they don't seem to fit the current layout...

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Next Category: People Who Were Refused an Extension

If you missed the 7-day period in which to file for a review of your 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition for Fail, and you or your lawyer wrote to the Office of the Superintendent to request an extension of the 7-days, please give us a call. We are now filing Petitions for anyone who was denied an extension of the 7-day time period. Many people are still without a license, or they wish to get back on the road without an interlock. We can do this relatively easily right now. The test cases we have started have resulted in the RDP and...

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