The consequences of an impaired driving conviction in Toronto

Non-Legal Consequences of DUI Conviction

Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs does not only impose legal penalties like fines or jail time, but it can also significantly affect your life in a variety of other ways.

Impact on Employment

First and foremost, a DUI conviction may negatively impact your employment. Some employers have strict policies against hiring individuals with DUI convictions, as it is seen as a risk to their reputation and work environment. Others may terminate your employment if they find out about your DUI offence, especially if driving is a major part of your job. Moreover, a DUI conviction may appear on criminal background checks, potentially hindering future employment opportunities. This could limit your options in terms of both employment and career advancement.

Increase in Insurance Premiums

Another non-legal consequence of a DUI conviction involves your car insurance. Most insurance companies assess drivers as potential risks. A DUI conviction clearly demonstrates risky behaviour, which can result in sky-rocketing insurance premiums. Some companies may even refuse to renew your policy.

Social and Psychological Consequences

Lastly, there are social and psychological implications associated with DUI convictions. The stigma of having a criminal record can significantly change the way others perceive you. It can also put a strain on your personal relationships. Additionally, the guilt, embarrassment, and depression often induced by a DUI conviction can lead to significant psychological distress.

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you are dealing with a DUI charge, it is crucial to hire a professional attorney to navigate through the proceedings and offer you the best possible defense strategy.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

If you’re facing a DUI charge, you should consult a lawyer as early as possible. An attorney experienced in criminal law, such as Sonya Shikhman, can clarify the legal proceedings you’re likely to face, and offer advice based on their knowledge and experience.

How Can a Lawyer Help With DUI Charges?

A skilled lawyer can assist you in several ways before and after a DUI charge. They can negotiate to possibly reduce penalties, represent you in court, and offer support throughout the legal process. By hiring a professional attorney, you are ensuring on having an expert advocate on your side who can help minimize the legal consequences and mitigate other potential repercussions.

The Basic Understanding of Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is defined as operating a vehicle while your ability to do so has been compromised to any degree by the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. It’s important to note that ‘vehicle’ here refers not just to cars, but also to trucks, motorcycles, boats, aircrafts and even bicycles.

In Ontario, the law is very clear on what constitutes as legal and illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The legal BAC limit is 0.08. This means that if you have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, you are over the legal limit.

It’s also worth noting that you can still face serious consequences even if your BAC is below 0.08. Ontario has a ‘warn range’ of 0.05 to 0.08, where penalties can still be applied. For novice drivers and commercial drivers, a BAC above 0.00 is grounds for penalties.

The Legal Consequences of Impaired Driving in Toronto

Impaired driving is taken very seriously in Toronto and the penalties can be severe, especially for repeat offenders.

First Hand Conviction Penalties

For a first offence, the minimum penalties are a $1,000 fine and a one-year driving prohibition. However, the judge has the discretion to impose a higher fine and a longer driving prohibition.

Moreover, a first offence also results in a criminal record, which can have significant implications for employment and travel. Notably, having a criminal record can make it difficult to enter the United States.

Consequences of Multiple Offences

If you are convicted of impaired driving more than once, the penalties increase significantly. For a second offence within 10 years, the minimum penalty is 30 days in jail. For a third offence, the minimum jail term is 120 days. In addition, there is a mandatory lifetime driving prohibition that can be reduced to 10 years if certain conditions are met.

Implications for Immigrants and Non-citizens

For immigrants and non-citizens, a conviction for impaired driving can have serious immigration consequences. It can lead to deportation, denial of entry into Canada, or inability to obtain Canadian citizenship.

In conclusion, the penalties for impaired driving in Toronto are severe and can significantly impact your life. It’s important to understand these penalties and to seek legal advice if you find yourself facing an impaired driving charge.

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