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Bringing Firearms into Canada

Stopping illegal guns is difficult, since there are varied sources for illegal guns. I suspect the main source of illegal guns used in most street crimes is theft from homes and businesses. If that’s true, then it may be wise to focus legislation on gun security, rather than gun control.

But even more important is to focus on criminals – the criminals who steal the guns, then use them to victimize the populace. The solution to this problem is more simple than it may seem on the surface. However, our legal system would need to be adapted to these solutions, and it may also be necessary to address housing a temporarily increased number of prisoners. However, by using these solutions, I firmly believe the number of criminals will ultimately decrease.

You must be 18 or older to bring a firearm into Canada. Minors ages 12-18 can bring firearms, but they have to first obtain a minor’s license. To obtain this, it is necessary to pass a firearms safety course. The minor will need to be accompanied by an adult the entire time they are in possession of the firearm, and the adult will be legally responsible for it. Minors can only use non-restricted firearms.

If you have a criminal record it will take longer and be significantly more difficult to bring a firearm into Canada.   It does not matter if the crimes were violent or gun-related. Get your application started much earlier if you have any type of criminal record.

Declare firearms in writing to a customs officer at the point of entry to Canada, using the Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (form RCMP 5589).

If there are more than three firearms, a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet (form RCMP 5590) should be added.

The declaration form should be filled out prior to arrival at the point of entry, in order to save time. However, it should not be signed before arriving at the entry point, as a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) customs officer must witness the signature.

More legislation to limit the actions of people who already follow the law is wasted time, energy, and money. Let’s spend our tax dollars wisely, and impress upon our sometimes misguided representatives the need to work on the real problems, rather than continuing to add more laws that only punish the innocent and have no affect on the guilty.

Hamilton “Impaired Driving” Laws-Strict but Fair?

While every state in the union has enhanced the driving-under-the-influence statutes of their particular state, Hamilton has taken a political approach to the upgrade of their impaired driving laws. The law is generally straightforward, but there are conditions of expunction and minimal punitive adjudication that other states do not employ. Pennsylvania’s impaired driving laws are based on a three-tier prosecution, dependent upon the level of intoxication of the driver. The laws are also alcohol-specific in terms of severity of the charge. Driving under the influence of illegal drugs will put the charge in the strongest application of the law, which is not necessarily the case in non-aggravation dui arrest cases.

The Toxicology Structure

Typical driving dui charges result when the driver’s blood alcohol content, on an official BAC calculator, registers between .08 and .099 blood alcohol level. This is a simple case of impaired driving and can be downgraded by the prosecutor to reckless driving with an experienced and effective DUI attorney. The defendant will not be able to negotiate this result in most local courts, but a credible, impaired-driving attorney can build a case that is acceptable for both parties in the case. The focus of an initial intoxicated driving charge is a minimal punishment for those that show no pattern of unconcern for the law and are not driving while overly intoxicated. Aggravated intoxication can be assessed beyond the .159 level, which is twice the legal limit for an acceptable and simple case adjudication. Anything above .16 is considered aggravated, and additional charges can occur based on mitigating circumstances of the arrest.

Hamilton police say some motorists are not getting the message about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Between Dec. 23, 2018 and Jan. 2, police arrested 16 people for impaired driving: 14 who were impaired by alcohol, one who was impaired by drugs and one person who refused to take a breathalyzer test.

READ MORE: Middlesex County OPP lay over a dozen impaired driving charges during Festive RIDE campaign

Police say that during the same period last year, officers arrested 10 people for impaired driving.

Meanwhile, the OPP say they laid more 500 impaired driving charges over the holiday season.

The Festive RIDE campaign that ran from Nov. 23, 2018 to Jan. 2 took 539 alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers off OPP-patrolled roads.

 Nearly 100 drivers charged with impaired driving over holiday season in Eastern Ontario: OPP

An additional 384 drivers were issued warn range suspensions.

That compares to 587 charges laid during the last campaign and 366 suspensions.

The 2018-19 RIDE program marks the first time the OPP exceeded 10,000 vehicle stops.

Driver located and arrested after vehicle ignites into flames.

On Sunday January 18th, 2019 at approximately 4am it was reported to Police that a vehicle fled from the scene of a motor vehicle collision in the area of Crockett Street and Upper Sherman Avenue in the City of Hamilton.

A description of the motor vehicle was broadcasted to responding officers. It was reported that the vehicle struck a Hydro Pole and that live wires were down along the roadway as a result.

As Hamilton Police Officers were responding to the situation another report was received indicating that a vehicle was on fire I the area of East 38th Street and Patricia Place.

Police and the Hamilton Fire Department responded to these secondary reports locating the vehicle. Investigation revealed that the vehicle and the previous collision were in fact linked.

The driver of the vehicle arrested for Impaired Driving related offences at the scene of the vehicle fire.

A female passenger was treated for injuries resulting in the driver being charged accordingly.

Arrested: 47-year-old male from Hamilton


If you’ve been charged with impaired driving or DUI, over 80 mg, drunk driving, care or controlor any other criminal code offence in Hamilton, experienced team of criminal and impaired driving trial lawyers know what it takes to win your case.

The impaired driving laws are constantly changing and penalties have become much more severe…a conviction can result in high fines, licence suspensions/prohibitions, jail terms, increased insurance rates and possibly even loss of your job.

Don’t just plead guilty without consulting an experienced Hamilton impaired driving lawyer. There are defences available.

We offer honest and candid advice – not unrealistic guarantees. One of our experienced impaired driving lawyer will review your case with you and carefully outline your options.


How Alcohol Affects Your Driving

Many drugs, even those prescribed by a doctor or purchased over-the-counter, can impair your ability to drive safely. For example, smoking, vaping or eating cannabis can increase your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision. If you are unsure of whether it is safe for you to drive while taking your medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

The Canadian Society of Forensic Science recently released a report stating that impairment from cannabis begins almost immediately and can last up to 6 hours or more, depending on factors such as THC levels and how it is consumed. Frequent high-dose THC users may experience even longer periods of impairment. However, since the effects of cannabis vary, there is no way to know exactly how long to wait before it is safe for you to drive. The best way to avoid impaired driving is to not take a chance. If you’re using cannabis, plan another way home.

Alcohol — even one drink — can reduce your ability to react to things that happen suddenly. The effects of alcohol also include blurred or double vision, impaired attention and slowed reflexes. Alcohol-impaired driving is one of the leading causes of death on Ontario’s roads.

What counts as impaired driving

Impaired driving means operating a vehicle (including cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles) while your ability to do so has been compromised to any degree by consuming alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two.

Fully Licensed Drivers

Throughout Canada, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for fully licensed drivers is to be under 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or 0.08. Driving with  a BAC of 0.08 or over is a criminal offence and the penalties are severe.

In Ontario, you will also face serious consequences if your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08. This is commonly referred to as the “warn range.”

If police determine that you are driving while impaired by any drug, including illegal drugs, cannabis, prescription and over-the-counter medications, you will face severe consequences and criminal charges.

Zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers

Young and Novice Drivers

Drivers age 21 or under and novice drivers of any age (with G1, G2, M1, or M2 licenses) must not have any presence of alcohol in their blood when behind the wheel. This is commonly referred to as the “zero BAC” or “zero tolerance” rule.

Young and novice drivers are prohibited from having any presence of cannabis in their system as well as other drugs that can be detected using  approved drug screening equipment. That means that Ontario has a zero tolerance approach to both alcohol and drugs for all young and novice drivers.

If police determine that you have the presence of cannabis or alcohol in your system and/or that you are impaired by any substance including illegal drugs, prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, you will face severe consequences and potential criminal charges.

Commercial Drivers

As of July 1, 2018 drivers of vehicles requiring an A-F class licence, vehicles requiring a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) and road building machines are prohibited from having any presence of alcohol in their blood when behind the wheel of these types of vehicles. These drivers are also prohibited from having any presence of cannabis in their system as well as other drugs that can be detected by an approved drug screening equipment.

If police determine that you have the presence of cannabis or alcohol in your system and/or that you are impaired by any substance including illegal drugs, prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, you will face severe consequences and potential criminal charges.

Medical Cannabis Users

If a police officer is satisfied that you are legally authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes, you will not be subject to Ontario’s zero tolerance drug requirements for young, novice and commercial drivers. However, you can still face penalties and criminal charges if a police officer determines that your ability to drive has been impaired. Even if you have been authorized to use cannabis or another drug by a health care professional, it is your responsibility to ensure you are not impaired while driving.

Penalties for impaired driving

If police determine that you are driving while impaired you will face penalties immediately. You will also face additional consequences later if you are convicted in court. The penalties you face can vary depending on your age, licence type, the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, and how many times you have been convicted.

Immediate Penalties

Penalties for a BAC in the Warn Range, Failing a Standardized Field Sobriety Test or Violating Zero Tolerance

If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.05 or higher, you fail a roadside sobriety test or you violate the zero tolerance requirements for young, novice and commercial drivers that begin on July 1, you will face:

First offence

  • 3-day licence suspension. This cannot be appealed.
  • $250 penalty

Second offence within 5 years

  • 7-day licence suspension (3-day suspension for commercial drivers). This cannot be appealed.
  • $350 penalty
  • You must attend a mandatory education program (for a second occurrence within 10 years)

Third and subsequent offences within 5 years

  • 30-day licence suspension (3-day suspension for commercial drivers). This cannot be appealed.
  • $450 penalty
  • You must attend a mandatory treatment program (for third and subsequent offence within 10 years)
  • You will be required to use an ignition interlock device for at least six months (for third and subsequent offence within 10 years)
  • You will need to undergo a mandatory medical evaluation to determine whether you meet the requirements for driving in Ontario (for fourth and subsequent offence within 10 years).

In addition to the penalties above, you will also face a $275 licence reinstatement fee each time your licence is suspended. Young or novice drivers may also be charged under the Highway Traffic Act and if convicted, you will face an additional suspension and fine.



Murder Manslaughter: Introduction

Murder manslaughter are serious charges – charges that often make it to the media when they occur. Because these situations are so widely-reported, most people have some understanding of what murder and manslaughter entail, and can identify that the main difference between the two is intent. However, there are more distinctions as specified by the Criminal Code.

In the Criminal Code, both murder and manslaughter fall under the umbrella category of homicide. Homicide is the killing of one person by another. For a homicide of any kind to be prosecuted in Canada, it must be culpable, that is, the accused must be found at fault.


Any murder committed without intent to kill is manslaughter. Manslaughter sometimes can make for an appropriate plea bargain depending on the circumstances of the case and the strength of the crown’s case.

There Is No More Serious Of A Charge

There is a wide range of punishment when it comes to murder and manslaughter, and a prosecutor must go far beyond establishing that a death has occurred. Issues of intent and state of mind are focal points in any murder and manslaughter case.

When facing such serious charges, it is essential that the accused consult a lawyer immediately. Our lead lawyer,  sits on the Legal Aid Serious Offence Panel and is qualified to knowledgeable when it comes to defending murder cases and manslaughter.

Everyone has legal rights and it is important for them to be defended in the best possible way. Murder and manslaughter charges are the most serious that anyone can face, but it is crucial for the accused to take advantage of their right to defend him or herself in the court of law. The experience and skills of the lawyer are of great importance in such cases.Best Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer Hamilton is here to provide full legal assistance.

The experience of our criminal attorneys specialized in murder and manslaughter cases is quite diverse. We have worked with people from various backgrounds and in unique situations. One of the most important factors in such cases is the individual approach. While we rely on our past experience, we focus on the specifics of every case to build the best possible strategy for defence. With expert knowledge and a diverse set of legal skills, our lawyers are able to provide outstanding legal representation even in highly challenging cases. Our commitment to every case is full. We are always ready to put as many extra hours and as much effort as necessary to achieve the set goal.

The Criminal Code of Canada defines a range of offences in this particular field. These include first and second degree murder, manslaughter and attempted murder. The specific type of offence that a person is charged with depends on the circumstances surrounding the act. Both first degree and second degree murder convictions carry a mandatory life sentence. In the first case, there is eligibility for parole after 25 years. In the second case, the individual is eligible to parole after 10 years and after 25 years. There is no minimum sentence for manslaughter while the maximum one is life in prison. The situation of any accused person is extremely serious, but Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer Hamilton is ready to help. Our work begins with providing detailed legal consultation. The accused will receive detailed explanation of the situation and full advice for deciding on the best way to go.

When we are hired to provide legal representation, the work will be focused entirely on achieving the best possible outcome. Our clients can count on us at their bail hearing as well as throughout the trial. The work on the case begins with its thorough investigation. The lawyer is supported by a team of diverse specialists and will work with external experts to build the strongest possible defence case. The strategy will be meticulously developed taking into account even the smallest details.

Our clients receive full personal support at all stages of the legal process going beyond preparation for the hearings. Your Murder & Manslaughter Lawyer in Hamilton will be ready to answer any question thoroughly and quickly. We do everything necessary to boost the confidence of our clients. The lawyer will fight with passion and persistence using all possible legal tools. If obstacles come up, they will be overcome effectively with great skill. Our focus will be on achieving the set goal.



What is bail?

Bail is written permission from a court, allowing a person charged with a criminal offence to be out of jail while they wait for their trial, or some other result in their case (such as a guilty plea or a withdrawal of their charges).

What happens at a bail hearing?

First ,the Crown presents the allegations to the court. Most of the time, the Crown will do this by reading out the allegations found in the police synopsis. In some cases, the Crown will present the allegations by calling a witness (or witnesses) to testify in court. This witness will usually be the police officer in charge of the investigation.

After the allegations have been presented by the Crown, the accused’s lawyer or duty counsel has a chance to present evidence. In most cases, the accused’s lawyer or duty counsel does this by having the accused or a potential surety (or both) testify. In some cases, there will be more than one potential surety called as a witness. The accused’s lawyer or duty counsel will try to convince the court that, if released on bail, the accused will obey their bail conditions, either on their own or with the assistance of a surety (or sureties) to supervise them.

When both sides are finished giving their evidence, they make arguments to the judge or justice of the peace. The judge or justice of the peace then decides to either release the accused on bail or keep them in jail while they wait for their trial or some other result (such as a guilty plea or a withdrawal of their charges). 

Why would the police decide to bring someone to bail court?

The police look at different factors in deciding whether to release an accused or bring them to bail court. For example, they might look at whether the accused has a criminal record, how serious the charges are, if the accused is already facing other charges at the time of their arrest, or whether there are reasons to believe the accused won’t show up for their court date. The police will consider these things when deciding whether to release the accused or take them to bail court. If the police decide to take the accused to bail court, this is usually called “holding them for bail” or “holding them for show cause.”

Does the accused always have to prove to the court why they should get out on bail?

No. In some cases, the Crown will have to show why the accused should not be released on bail. It depends on what the accused is charged with, and other factors, such as whether they were out on bail for other charges at the time of their arrest.

What are my responsibilities as a surety?

A surety’s basic responsibilities are to:

Does an accused have to deposit money with the court to get out on bail?

In some cases, the accused will have to deposit money with the court in order to get out on bail. If the accused:

  • does not live in Ontario
  • or lives 200 km or more from the place they are in jail;

it is likely that they will need to deposit cash with the court in order to get out on bail.

However, in most courthouses, it is more common for the accused and/or his or her surety to promise an amount of money to the court without actually depositing it. This promise of money is called a “recognizance.” If the accused breaks one of his or her bail conditions, or doesn’t show up to court when they’re supposed to, the accused and/or his or her surety can lose some or all of the money they promised to the court by signing the recognizance.

Can bail conditions be changed?

Yes. This is what is called a “bail variation”. However, variations can only be done if the Crown agrees to the change, or if the accused applies to a higher court for a review and that court orders the change. An accused should speak to his or her lawyer or duty counsel if they want to have bail conditions changed.


Firearm & Weapons Offence Lawyer Hamilton

Weapons Offences Lawyer

A weapon is any kind of tool that can threaten or damage people or property. This includes obvious weapons like guns and knives as well as less obvious ones like sports equipment, household tools and toys. Even a shoe or a cup of water can be considered a weapon, depending on how it’s used.

Often, our clients come to us with weapons charges that have been added on to other charges, or used to make their alleged crime sound more serious. A theft becomes robbery, or an assault becomes “assault with a weapon,” sounding more alarming and instilling more fear in the person charged. Getting bail is more difficult and sentences tend to be longer.

Sometimes the weapons offence isn’t related to your arrest, but is used to get more charges against you — for example, if you are charged with impaired driving and are found to have an unlicensed hunting rifle in your car.

Sometimes the weapons charge can stand on its own, such as a gun charge for an improperly stored firearm.

Depending on your priorities and needs, Stephen Bernstein Law Group’s lawyers can either plead out your weapons charge or take it to trial and provide you with a thorough defence.

You can trust our trial experience in weapons cases. You may also be able to help us resolve the charge.

Help Us Help You

Regardless of what we do, our advice to you will usually include the following:

  • Don’t talk to the police: Since many people aren’t aware of the details of weapons laws, they may make incriminating statements about their weapons without realizing they’re doing so. Have a lawyer present when you talk to police.
  • Don’t panic: Just because there is a weapons charge against you doesn’t mean that it’s going to stick. It may be used as a bargaining chip, to get you to plead to other charges out of fear of the weapons charge.
  • Know your rights: Many of our clients are unaware that they are in violation of the law with regard to weapons. Others are unaware that there are defences available to their weapons charge. Weapons law is currently in a state of rapid change, and it may be difficult for most people to keep up with what those changes may mean to them.

Both the Criminal Code of Canada and the Firearms Act define a range of offences in this particular field including unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous person, tempering with a serial number and assault with a weapon. A weapon can be any object designed, used or intended to be used for causing injury or death or for threatening and intimidating a person. There are different types of penalties for the different offences in case of conviction, but they are all very serious. Given the gravity of the situation, it is important for you to turn to Firearm & Weapons Offence Lawyer Hamilton without wasting time. You will receive consultation as quickly as possible. One of our specialized lawyers will give you an overview of your situation and present the different options. You will have all the advice needed for making a choice.

With us, you will receive legal representation at all stages of the legal process no matter how long or complex it may be. At bail hearings, our core goal is to secure the release of our client at the most bearable terms. After this, your counselor and the support specialists who work on your case will build the strategy for your defence. The work begins with investigating the case in depth. The situation is analyzed for selecting the best legal instruments that will be used. The strategy will include different tactics for overcoming various types of obstacles that may arise.

Our work is always goal-orientated. Your Firearm & Weapons Offence Lawyer Hamilton will be highly motivated and use their talent and skill to the fullest to get you where you want to be. You will be excellently prepared for all hearings and receive personal support at all times. By making you feel as comfortable and confident as possible, we go one step further towards achieving the set objective. Let us fight for you with zeal and all possible tools.

For receiving timely legal assistance in case of firearm and weapons offence charges, reach us now.


What is Sexual Harassment?

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when either:

  • The conduct is made as a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University community.
  • The acceptance or refusal of such conduct is used as the basis or a factor in decisions affecting an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University community.
  • The conduct unreasonably impacts an individual’s employment or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University community.

Sexual harassment is defined by law and includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances or other sexual conduct when (1) submission is either explicitly or implicitly a condition affecting academic or employment decisions; (2) the behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating, hostile or repugnant environment; or (3) the behavior persists despite objection by the person to whom the conduct is directed. The University considers such behavior, whether physical or verbal, to be a breach of its standards of conduct and will seek to prevent such incidents and take corrective action when sexual harassment occurs (Office of Institutional Equity, University of Michigan).

Types of Sexual Harassment

Generally speaking, there are two types of sexual harassment, “quid pro quo” and hostile environment.

Quid pro quo (meaning “this for that”) sexual harassment occurs when it is stated or implied that an academic or employment decision about a student or employee depends upon whether the student or employee submits to conduct of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo sexual harassment also occurs when it is stated or implied that an individual must submit to conduct of a sexual nature in order to participate in a University program or activity. So, for example, if an employee is made to believe that a promotion is likely if the employee goes on a date with the employee’s supervisor, the employee is possibly being subjected to “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. (Office of Institutional Equity, University of Michigan)

Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working or learning environment or is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a University program or activity.  While a person engaging in harassing behavior most often has some form of power or authority over the person being harassed, that is not always the case. The harasser can be a peer of the person being harassed. Sometimes the harasser is harassing a person who has power over them. For example, a supervisee can sexually harass a supervisor or a student can sexually harass a faculty member (Office of Institutional Equity, University of Michigan).

Examples of Sexual Harassment

The following descriptions, while not all-inclusive, will help you understand the types of behavior that are considered “conduct of a sexual nature” and that, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment:

Unwanted sexual statements: Sexual or “dirty” jokes, comments on physical attributes, spreading rumors about or rating others as to sexual activity or performance, talking about one’s sexual activity in front of others and displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and/or written material. Unwanted sexual statements can be made in person, in writing, electronically (email, instant messaging, blogs, web pages, etc.) and otherwise.

Unwanted personal attention: Letters, telephone calls, visits, pressure for sexual favors, pressure for unnecessary personal interaction and pressure for dates where a sexual/romantic intent appears evident but remains unwanted.

Unwanted physical or sexual advances: Touching, hugging, kissing, fondling, touching oneself sexually for others to view, sexual assault, intercourse or other sexual activity. (Office of Institutional Equity, University of Michigan).


What Is Drug Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause.

Drug addiction isn’t about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, and other legal substances.

At first, you may choose to take a drug because you like the way it makes you feel. You may think you can control how much and how often you use it. But over time, drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose self-control and can lead you to damaging behaviors.

Addiction vs. Abuse

Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s prescription. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality. But usually, you’re able to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.

Addiction is when you can’t stop. Not when it puts your health in danger. Not when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you or your loved ones. That urge to get and use drugs can fill up every minute of the day, even if you want to quit.

Effect on Your Brain

Your brain is wired to make you want to repeat experiences that make you feel good. So you’re motivated to do them again and again.

The drugs that may be addictive target your brain’s reward system. They flood your brain with a chemical called dopamine. This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure. So you keep taking the drug to chase that high.

Over time, your brain gets used to the extra dopamine. So you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling. And other things you enjoyed, like food and hanging out with family, may give you less pleasure.

When you use drugs for a long time, it can cause changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. They can hurt your:

  • Judgment
  • Decision making
  • Memory
  • Ability to learn

Together, these brain changes can drive you to seek out and take drugs in ways that are beyond your control.

Who’s Most Likely to Become Addicted?

Each person’s body and brain is different. People also react differently to drugs. Some love the feeling the first time they try it and want more. Others hate it and never try again.

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction, including:

Family history. Your genes are responsible for about half of your odds. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, you’re more likely as well. Women and men are equally likely to become addicted.

Early drug use. Children’s brains are still growing, and drug use can change that. So taking drugs at an early age may make you more likely to get addicted when you get older.

Mental disorders. If you’re depressed, have trouble paying attention, or worry constantly, you have a higher chance of addiction. You may turn to drugs as a way to try to feel better.



It is a crime in every state for a motorist to operate a vehicle while impaired by the effects of alcohol or other drugs, including prescription medications. Depending on the state, the offense is called driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or a similar term. Even if evidence of blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) shows impairment, a good DUI lawyer may seek to have the case dismissed or the charges reduced. Also, attorneys often negotiate for lesser sentences and treatment diversion programs.

Upon conviction of a DUI, you will receive some sort of criminal sentence (such as community service, a fine, even jail) and your driver’s license likely will be suspended or revoked, depending on the severity and whether it is a first offense. Your attorney may be able to help you obtain driving privileges with the condition of using an ignition interlock device (IDD) or the court’s permission to drive to and from work.

Terms to Know

  • Implied Consent: In every state, motorists consent to a police stop and BAC test as a condition of receiving a driver’s license. Failure to submit to a BAC test breaks this agreement and results in a driver’s license suspension.
  • Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC): The concentration of alcohol in one’s bloodstream, which is used to determine a motorist’s level of alcohol impairment.
  • Drug Recognition Experts: Officers specially trained to determine the drug impairment of a DUI suspect.
  • DUI Checkpoints: Roadblocks set up by police, typically along busy roadways during New Year’s Eve and other alcohol-related events, in which motorists and checked for impairment at random.

If you have been charged with a DUI offence in Hamilton then your defence could be a tough one considering that a DUI is a criminal offence in Ontario. The Criminal code levies heavy penalties if you are to be convicted in a DUI case. A conviction for a DUI offence can have numerous negative impacts in your life. It is necessary that you challenge the case against you so that it gets dismissed. Failure to do so will attract heavy penalties and you will end up with a criminal record. If you are thinking about how to get a DUI dismissed then the first thing you need to do is seek the reliable services of a Hamilton DUI Lawyer. We specialize in DUI laws and can assess and prepare your case in the most appropriate manner.

There has been a recent increase of drunk driving convictions in Toronto courts and this has contributed to drunk driving becoming the largest single offence in Ontario. Drinking and driving cases are more likely to be brought to trial than any other criminal offence. The reason for this is that at trial, these cases are often contested on highly technical grounds based mainly on police violations where Sections 8, 9 and 10 (b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedom are cited in our client’s defence.

As a respectable Toronto drunk driving lawyer, we have many years of experience in successfully defending our clients with drunk driving charges. As experienced DUI criminal defence attorneys, we have shown and assured consistent results largely due to our vigorous cross examination of prosecution witnesses as well as our ability to target technical in sufficient. Contact us immediately if you have been charged for driving while drunk in Toronto, ON. The earlier you get in contact with us the better.


The chances of getting a DUI dismissed mostly depend on the facts of the case. Every case is different from the other and getting a DUI case dismissed is something that can only be assessed by a lawyer. An outstanding DUI lawyer understands the many ways of getting a DUI case dismissed but to do so your lawyer will first have to assess the facts within the presented files.

When You May Need a DUI Attorney

Drunk or impaired driving is taken seriously by courts, particularly since it can be so deadly to other motorists. Therefore, the stakes of a DUI case are quite high. Those convicted of a DUI usually lose their license for a certain period of time, pay a hefty fine, and sometimes serve time in jail (especially if it is a repeat offense). Even if your DUI lawyer is unable to dismiss the case, he or she may be able to reduce the sentence or otherwise provide for a softer landing.

Legal representation is rarely cheap, but a skilled DUI lawyer should be able to help you with the outcome of your case. To learn more about how a DUI attorney may help your case, see Hire a DUI Lawyer and Get Legal Help with a DUI.


Will a DUI Show on a Criminal Background Check?

One offense that may cause confusion is a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On the one hand, a DUI is an offense that can only occur while driving. As a result, many people assume a DUI will show on a driving history check but not on a criminal background check. 

On the other hand, a DUI is considered a serious crime—one that can lead to license suspensions, sizable fines, and jail time. In all 50 states, a first-offense DUI will normally be classified as a misdemeanor. Since misdemeanor convictions show up on criminal history screenings, it stands to reason that a DUI would appear on a standard criminal background check.

Ultimately, a DUI is thought to be more severe than most other driving offenses, hence the misdemeanor status. As a result, if you have a DUI (or several) on your record, they will show up in a pre-employment background check even if an employer does not conduct a driving history check. However, since a DUI is technically both a criminal offense and a traffic violation, it would also likely appear on any motor vehicle record check that a prospective employer runs.

Complications for the Job Application

The fact that a DUI can show up on a criminal background check creates a dilemma for job seekers who have been convicted of this offense. If the job application includes the common “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” question, candidates with DUI history might be at a loss for how to answer it accurately.

This criminal history question is slowly disappearing from job applications thanks to the spread of the ban the box movement. If you live in a jurisdiction that has banned the box, you may not have to worry about answering criminal history questions with regards to a DUI conviction. While ban the box policies are spreading, they are still far from universal—especially for private employers. As such, if you have a DUI on your record, you need to have a strategy for how to answer the question without killing your job chances.

Your first strategy should be to tell the truth. A DUI may be a traffic violation, but it is also a crime in all 50 states. In other words, if you have a DUI conviction on your record, the only honest way to answer a question about criminal convictions is to check the box that says “Yes.”

If given the opportunity, you should set the record straight with potential employers. The reason so many people want to ban the box that requires ex-offenders to reveal their criminal history is because that box offers no opportunity for nuance or explanation. Having a criminal history can mean a wide range of things depending on the nature of the offense, the outcome of the offense, and other factors. When an employer sees an applicant has checked the “Yes” box on an application, they have no way of knowing if the candidate’s criminal history is a single misdemeanor or a series of felonies. All they know is something is there waiting to be found on a background check.

DUI as a Felony

The need for nuance is particularly relevant to a DUI conviction since a DUI can be charged in multiple ways depending on the situation. 

A DUI is usually considered a misdemeanor for a first-time offender. However, there are always exceptions. For instance, if a DUI leads to a fatality or serious injury, it would likely be bumped up to a felony, even for a first-time offense. These circumstances can also result in a prosecutor adding extra charges to a case, such as vehicular manslaughter or criminal negligence. 

The driver’s BAC, whether there was a child in the car, and the status of the driver’s license (restricted, suspended, revoked, etc.) can all impact the severity of the conviction. 

A third or fourth DUI offense is more likely to be tried as a felony than as a misdemeanor. This point is especially true if those offenses have occurred relatively close to one another. 

As you can see, how a DUI is classified—and what it means for your criminal record—can vary considerably. As such, it’s important to be prepared to explain the circumstances of your conviction to any prospective employer if you are required to disclose it on a job application. Telling your version of the story honestly will lower the chances of a hiring manager getting a one-sided picture of your past. 

Getting Hired with a DUI

While a DUI will show up on a criminal background check, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will hurt or kill your job chances. A DUI is a crime, but employers often treat it like a traffic violation. If you are applying for a job that involves driving a company vehicle or operating heavy machinery, your prospective employer is going to take notice of a DUI. That conviction makes you a hiring risk that most employers will not take. 

If you are trying to land an office job or any other position with no driving-related responsibilities, your DUI may carry less weight with employers. Per the EEOC, employers are expected to weigh criminal convictions considering the job at hand. Since a DUI is not directly relevant to all jobs, most employers can’t ethically disqualify you because of it. Your best bet is to apply for jobs that wouldn’t require you to drive a car or operate a heavy piece of equipment.