Gracia Criminal Law Firm Calgary

Charges Withdrawn Because Accused Too Drunk

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.430(1)(a) – Mischief; GLA: s.115(1) – Public Intoxication, s.UHRRR: s.107(1) – Tampering with a Motor Vehicle

Allegations:

My client, while extremely intoxicated and under the influence of narcotics, was seen stumbling around through a residential neighbourhood. When asked to get off someone’s property, my client approached their front door and attempted to confront them. The home owners locked themselves inside and called the police, while my client banged on their front door and damaged their garage door. He was then observed to be pulling at the door handles to their truck, with his pants down. When police arrived, he was still trying to get into their truck. While being transported to the police station, my client defecated and urinated himself and vomitted repeatedly.

Result:

I tendered pleas of “not guilty” to all charges and scheduled a trial date. On the day of trial, the Crown entered a Stay of Proceedings, efectively withdrawing the criminal charge, as well as the tickets. I had persuaded the Crown that because this was an offence of specific mens rea, and because he was certainly in a state of advanced intoxication, he could not possibly have formed the requisite intent to commit this particular criminal offence. No criminal convictions.…

Drugs and Loaded Firearms in National Park Charges Withdrawn

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CDSA: s. 5(2) – Possession of Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) for the Purpose of Trafficking; CC: 94 x 2 – Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm in a Vehicle, s.92(1) x 2 – Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, s.117.01(1) – Prohibited Possession of a Firearm; CNPA-NPWR: s.20(3) – Possession of a Loaded Firearm in a Vehicle.

Allegations:

While driving through Banff National Park, near Lake Louise, on her way back from BC, my client was with her boyfriend and another friend, when the RCMP pulled them over for speeding at a rate of 140 kms/hr in a 90 zone. While dealing with the driver, the police officer could detect a faint odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. He detained them for a drug investigation and deployed a narcotic detection canine, who alerted police to the presence of narcotics. Police searched the vehicle and located a large quantity of magic mushrooms – three bags in the trunk, and one bag in the back seat, where my client was seated. Also found in the trunk were two firearms (rifles) and 381 rounds of ammunition. One of the rifles was loaded.

Result:

As a result of several Charter violations, and other triable issues, I tendered pleas of “not guilty” on behalf of my client and scheduled a date for a Preliminary Inquiry. Prior to this date, the Crown brought the file forward and withdrew all charges against my client. No criminal convictions.…

Charges Reduced to Tickets for Crashing Vehicle into Store While Drunk

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.253(1)(a) – Impaired Driving, s.249(1)(a) – Dangerous Driving, s.335 – Take Motor Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent; TSA: s.51(a) – Drive Without a Valid Operator’s Licence, s.69(1)(a) – Fail to Remain at the Scene of an Accident, s.54(1)(a) – Drive Without Insurance.

Allegations:

My client was driving his sister’s boyfriend’s car, without his knowledge. On his way home, with his sister as a passenger, he lost control of the vehicle and drove through the store front windows of a pizza place. He fled the scene and was located at the vehicle owner’s residence a short time later, with broken glass in his clothes and blood on him and inside the vehicle driver’s seat. He was obviously impaired by alcohol. He did not have a driver’s license, nor was he insured to drive that car.

Result:

As a result of resolution discussions with the assigned Crown, the matter was brought forward from its scheduled trial date for a resolution. My client changed his pleas to guilty on only two traffic tickets (driving with no license and failing to remain at the scene of an accident). He paid fines, totaling $600, plus VFS, with three months time to pay. All other charges were withdrawn. No criminal convictions.…

Found Not Guilty in Horrific Home Invasion Robbery

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.344(b) – Robbery, s.348(1)(b) – Break and Enter and Commit Robbery (Home Invasion Robbery), s.145(3) – Breach of Recognizance; YCJA: s.137 x 5 – Breach of Youth Court Order; CC: s.279(2) – Unlawful Confinement, s.268 – Aggravated Assault

Allegations:

My client, and five of her companions, left Manitoba in a stolen truck and headed toward BC, committing a string of offences on the way, including numerous gas thefts. While in Saskatchewan, an RCMP officer attempted to stop them. They initially pulled over, and then sped away as the officer approached the vehicle. They evaded the police by engaging in a dangerous high-speed chase on gravel roads. While in Alberta, they were running low on fuel and entered a farmyard, belonging to the victim. Three of them approached the front door and inquired about where they might obtain some gasoline. An elderly woman, the sole occupant of the residence, let them in while she made some calls. Upon her return to the front porch, she was severely beaten and rendered unconscious. She fell down the stairs to the basement and was assaulted again repeatedly while she lay unconscious. At this point, the others entered the residence and ransacked her home, stealing numerous items and leaving a chainsaw in the hallway. She was tied up with a dog leash and an electrical cord. Inside her purse, they found the keys to her SUV. They ditched their stolen vehicle behind a barn and sped away in their new stolen vehicle, belonging to the elderly woman. As they drove through Alberta, they purchased items with the cash and credit cards that they stole from her. My client’s boyfriend got arrested in Medicine Hat, while the others were in McDonald’s, after a witness reported him assaulting her in the parking lot. The others continued driving to BC. My client was driving at a very high rate of speed when she failed to make a corner and rolled the vehicle several times. That is when they were all finally taken into custody.

Result:

I am the only lawyer who pleaded “not guilty” on behalf of my client to these charges, and insisted on taking it to trial. All of the co-accused pleaded guilty and received extremely high sentences. My client’s brother, who appeared to be the least culpable, received the maximum jail sentence allowable under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (three years jail, plus probation for two years). The other co-accused, because they were adults, received much higher sentences; the most culpable was sentenced to six years in prison. After conducting a lengthy trial, the judge found my client “not guilty” of all charges, but did find her guilty to the lesser and included offence of theft under (instead of robbery), and to being unlawfully in a dwelling house (instead of B&E). We ordered a Pre-Sentence Report and adjourned sentencing. I persuaded the Crown to join me in a recommendation for time served, plus probation with some community service hours. The only reason she spent five months in pre-trial custody is because she fired her last lawyer for not being able to get her out on bail. I negotiated her release within a couple of weeks of being retained. Unfortunately for my client, she went AWOL and did not present herself at her sentencing, and a warrant issued for her arrest.…

Charges Withdrawn in Breaches of Emergency Protection Order

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

PFVA: s.13.1(1)(a) x 2 – Breaches of Emergency Protection Order

Allegations:

My client breached the terms of an emergency protection order by coming within a prohibited distance of his ex-wife.

Result:

I attended court in order to negotiate his release from custody. Instead, I managed to persuade the Crown to withdraw the charges! No criminal convictions.…

No Jail for Suspended Driver Driving Super Drunk Again & Crashing

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.253(1)(a) – Impaired Driving, s.254(5) – Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample, s.145(5) – Failure to Attend Court, s.253(1)(b) – Driving with Over 80 mg alcohol in blood, s.253(1)(a) – Impaired Driving, s.430(1)(a) – Mischief; TSA: s.51(a) – Driving without a Valid Licence, s.54(1)(a) – Driving without Insurance.

Allegations:

My client’s licence was suspended for driving while under the influence of alcohol. A few days later, while driving under the influence again, he struck a parked vehicle and crashed into a fence. A witness called the police. They found him to be extremely intoxicated. He refused to provide a breath sample. He then failed to attend court. A few months later, he was caught driving while under the influence of alcohol again. This time, he blew a red light, right in front of the police. Again, he was extremely intoxicated. This time, he provided samples of his breath. His readings exceeded 2.5 times the legal limit. He urinated in the holding cell.

Result:

He pleaded guilty to the refusal and one impaired charge. Everything else was withdrawn. The Crown was seeking jail on the second impaired conviction. I argued against that, given that both convictions were being entered simultaneously. The judge agreed. He received the minimum fine of $1000 on the first impaired and $2500 on the second impaired. In addition, he was placed on probation for a period of one year, in order to address his problem with alcohol. No jail.…

Time Served & Probation for Multiple High Speed Chases & Stolen Property

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: 129(a) – Obstruct Peace Officer, s.334(b) – Theft x 2, s.249.1(1) – Fail to Stop Motor Vehicle in order to Evade a Peace Officer, s.430(1)(a) – Mischief, s.355(b) – Possession of Stolen Property – s.145(5) Fail to Attend Court x 3; TSA: s.53(1)(b) – Display unauthorized licence plate x 2, s.54(1)(a) – Drive without Insurance, s.94(2) – Drive while unauthorized x 3; s.166(2)(c) – Fail to Remain Stopped until Permitted to Leave by Peace Officer – PTA: s.2(1)(a) – Trespassing.

Allegations:

After having served numerous months in prison for engaging the police in a high speed car chase with his five year-old son as a passenger, my client became homeless, jobless and alone, surviving on the streets by stealing and squatting in other people’s property. After stealing gasoline, my client was pursued by the police. He initially pulled over, but then accelarated as the police officer approached his vehicle. The officer gave chase, but my client got away. 30 minutes later, the police caught up to him and again, he escaped after a high speed chase. My client had warrants for his arrest, he had no insurance and his license had been suspended for failing to pay child support. While on release for these offences, he stole a camping trailer, in order to have a place to live. Again, while on release, the police tried to detain my client for driving a vehicle with a license plate that belonged to a different vehicle. My client initially pulled over, but then sped away when the officer approached his window, causing the officer to run after the vehicle. He then engaged the police in a high speed chase, resulting in his escape, only to be tracked down and arrested shortly therafter. Again, while on release, my client continued to drive while unauthorized and with a licence plate that belonged to a different vehicle. He also failed to attend court on a few occasions. The final incident which caused him to remain detained until disposition is that he was found living inside someone’s camping trailer within the grounds of the storage facility. When the owner went to check on her trailer, she noticed that someone appeared to living inside. The police located my client hiding in the bathroom at the rear of the trailer. My client confessed to all of his crimes during police interviews.

Result:

A Pre-Sentence Report and a Psychological Assessment were completed prior to sentencing. He was sentenced to one day, no warrant of committal, taking into account nearly four months of pre-trial custody, followed by a period of probation for 18 months. He was also required to pay several fines in relation to the traffic safety offences.…

Community Service Hours for Extensive Graffitti

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.430(1)(a) – Mischief x 7, RSA: s.41(1)(1) – Trespassing on Railway Property

Allegations:

My client spray painted a number of property items around Calgary, including a fence, cement barriers, and a bridge. One year later, he was caught on CPR property in rural Alberta, having spray painted several railway cars on different occasions.

Result:

My client received a suspended sentence and probation for a period of one year, with a condition that he perform community service hours by assisting the City of Calgary to remove grafitti around the city. The Crown was initially seeking restitution in an amount exceeding $15,000. No restitution was ordered.…

Violent Man Gets 3 Months & Probation For Tormenting Girlfriend

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.348(1)(b)/266 – Break and Enter and Commit Assault, s.266 – Assault, s.264.1(1)(a) – Uttering Death Threats, s.430(1)(a) – Mischief; PAFVA: s.13.1(1)(a) x 12 – Breach of Emergency Protection Order.

Allegations:

My client had just gotten out of jail, after serving a two-month sentence for assaulting his girlfriend. He went straight to her residence, contrary to the provisions of an Emergency Protection Order. A physical altercation ensued, during which he forced her to the floor, took the phone from her, ripped her hair out and punched her in the face several times. He threatened to kill her if she tried to call the police. She calmed him down. He then left to meet up with a friend to do some business. While he was out, she called 911. He returned shortly thereafter. She locked herself in the bathroom. He kicked in her front door and found her to be on the phone with the police, so he fled the residence, vowing to kill her, as he fled. She suffered numerous injuries. He had also assaulted her the year before and threatened to burn down her entire apartment building. She has an ongoing fear that he will in fact kill her. Two days later, he showed up at her front door and was trying to get in. She did not respond. Instead, she called 911 again. While waiting for the police to arrive, he sent her numerous sexual messages, followed by threatening text messages, including the following words: “I’ll be waiting for you in the darkness when you leave to go to work. I’m going to knock you right the fuck out and drag your lifeless body into my world. I hate you with a passion…Hope you’re ready to die, you greedy fucked slut. See you in the morning. I’m gonna smash your fucking brains in, pull your dead corpse back upstairs and take everything you have. You’re dead as soon as you come outside!!! DEAD!!! You ruined my life…I can’t wait to ejaculate over your dead body. You’ve got me out on the streets for the last time. I’m gonna make sure you lose everything.” He was arrested later that day. While in the Remand Centre, he attempted to contact her at least 10 more times.

Result:

In advance of the trial date, I persuaded the Crown to withdraw the B&E charge, and to agree to time served (3 months), followed by probation for one year, with a focus on mental health counseling. The judge refused to accept the joint proposal and sentenced him to an additional 3 months, followed by probation for 18 months. My client had a lengthy and related criminal record, including two prior convictions for assaulting and threatening to kill the same victim.…

Dangerous Driving Charge Reduced to a Ticket

  • 8 April 2015
Charge(s):

CC: s.249(1)(a) – Dangerous Driving

Allegations:

My client was driving one vehicle, while his friend was driving another. Both vehicles contained numerous other friends. They were driving fast through back alleys around their neighbourhood, following each other closely and causing people to jump out of the way. The alleys were very wet with numerous puddles of muddy water. A young mother was walking down the alley, holding her new born baby in her arms, when my client and his friend drove toward her, at a high rate of speed, and deliberately splashed her – twice. She and her baby were completely soaked with dirty water. As the vehicles continued driving, passengers in the second vehicle were hanging out of the window, pumping their fists, yelling “yes!”

Result:

Close to the day of trial, I persuaded the Crown to agree to resolve this matter by way of a guilty plea to a separate offence of “stunting,” under the Traffic Safety Act. The penalty consisted of only a $500 fine and 3 demerits. No criminal conviction.…

Gracia Criminal Law Firm Calgary
Gracia Law Firm
100, 111 - 5th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 3Y6
Phone: (403) 975-4529 URL of Map