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Procedural missteps can lead to acquittal

There are many reasons that someone who is accused of committing a crime could be acquitted. Sometimes it is based on testimony. Other times evidence presented at trial is what leads to someone being found not guilty. In still other situations procedural issues can lead to the same outcome.

A woman who lives in Ontario is well aware of this. She was recently acquitted of driving with excess alcohol in her system and impaired driving because of the way in which duty counsel spoke to her prior to her taking a breathalyzer test.

According to the Toronto judge who acquitted the woman, the breath samples that were acquired could not be admitted because of the woman was not provided her right to counsel before submitting to the test. Several things constituted this denial including:

  • The duty counsel’s angry and rude attitude when she spoke with him on the phone.
  • The failure of the arresting officers to remind the woman that she had a reasonable opportunity to speak to a lawyer.
  • The failure to provide alternatives to the woman when she encountered issues with the duty counsel.

The duty counsel denies that he was rude and instead claims that the woman repeatedly interrupted him as he tried to assist her.

In order for the criminal system to work the way it is intended certain rules must be followed. As this case illustrates when those rules are not followed a person could find that he or she is acquitted and will not face consequences for the activity. Despite this particular woman’s experience in any situation where someone is accused of a crime, the best course of action is to contact a criminal defence lawyer.

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