Recent Court Cases
Below are a few recent cases:
- January 2012: Client charged with possession of drugs, breach undertaking, possession of a weapon. Crown withdrew all charges after Mr. Witmer scheduled a trial date. Circumstances involved an illegal search of client’s backpack following a questionable roadside stop of a bicyclist. The matter was further complicated by concerns of client’s mental health at the time and how police dealt with client’s attendance at hospital following arrest. (Issues were not argued before court as crown determined not to proceed with case).
- January 2012: Several clients had charges withdrawn following successful completion of “Direct Accountability Program” involving charges of theft under $5,000 and possession under $5,000.
- January 2012: An excellent and extraordinary result for a client who breached a conditional sentence. The usual result would be a revocation of the conditions and the remainder of the sentence to be served in “real” jail. In this case, the period would have been 7 months in jail. After Mr. Witmer’s presentation (which included the calling of a witness and legal argument) this client was ordered to remain on conditional sentence (house arrest) with a change in residence. This was despite the client being in clear breach of her conditional sentence for alcohol consumption, leaving residence and assaulting her boyfriend. Unusual circumstances involving mental health issues and extremely supportive family members.
- January 2012: Client with history of breaching court orders and being deviant in behaviour avoids going to jail following Mr. Witmer’s submissions. This client was placed on a further probation order despite the judge’s clear indication that obvious breach warranted a period of jail time between 30 and 60 days. The case involved the client making positive steps towards employment, counselling, and re-establishing relationships with family.
- December 2011: Client placed on conditional sentence (house arrest) for serious offence of using a noxious substance (pepper spray) and assault with a weapon. Circumstances involved a client who was starting to make progress with mental health issues. The support of client’s family was of significant influence on the decision made by the judge.
- December 2011: Client avoids jail after pleading guilty to simple assault. This was a serious matter involving serious allegations of sexual assault that, if believed, could have resulted in very high reformatory sentence (the crown’s initial position was three years in the penitentiary). The matter was scheduled for a preliminary hearing, but resolved on the first day scheduled.
- December 2011: Client avoided jail for failing to follow court order and failing to appear in court as directed. Despite client’s record, Mr. Witmer was able to convince the court to order 6 months of probation instead of the 30 days of jail initially being sought by the crown. It was necessary for the client in this case to take a lengthy course of counselling (known as the PAR program).
- November 2011: Client received a 6-month conditional discharge following allegations of theft under, mischief under and breach of court order. This was an excellent result for client.
- July 2011: Client acquitted after 2-day trial involving allegations of assaulting 2 males at a keg party. The crown called 5 witnesses who were successfully cross-examined by Mr. Witmer, leading to the judge having a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of client.
- September 2009: R v RW (Guelph) This client was charged with “Over 80” after being stopped for driving erratically. The client admitted consuming alcohol and provided a sample of her breath into a roadside screening device. Mr. Witmer filed a “Charter Application” claiming a breach of the client’s right to counsel. On the day of the trial, the crown agreed to resolve the case to a lesser offence under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. The client entered a guilty plea to “Careless Driving” and received a $500 fine. The client was not subject to any further driving prohibition, will not have to take the “Back on Track Program”, and will not be subject to the “Ignition Interlock” restriction.
- September 2009: This client was charged with “Over 80”. Mr. Witmer filed a “Charter Application” claiming the police stopped the car arbitrarily, failed to advise the client of the right to counsel, and did not process the client properly at the police detachment. On the day of trial, the crown offered to resolve the case to the offence of “Careless Driving”. The client agreed to pay a fine of $1,000 and was placed on 3 months of probation, with a term to only drive for the purpose of attending school. This client avoided the more restrictive criminal penalties and also avoided the “Back on Track Program” and the “Ignition Interlock” restriction
- September 2009: This client was charged with “Over 80” after being stopped for operating an ATV without a helmet and without proper insurance. The police conducted a drinking and driving investigation and charged the client with excess alcohol consumption. Mr. Witmer brought an application to exclude the breath samples and raised a number of issues. During the trial, after cross-examination by Mr. Witmer, the police were not able to establish that they had processed the client “as soon as reasonably practicable”. The criminal code offence was dismissed. The crown prosecutor withdrew the provincial offences. The client left the courthouse without any penalties.
- September 2009: This client was charged with “Care and Control” impaired and “Care and Control Over 80”. Mr. Witmer scheduled the matter for trial. The crown attorney withdrew the charge at the commencement of trial.
- October 2009: This client was charged with “Impaired Driving” and “Over 80”. The client was not in his car when the police attended. The client showed obvious signs of impairment and blew breath samples over twice the legal limit. It was necessary to conduct a trial and Mr. Witmer questioned the arresting officer at length. The client was found not guilty as the crown was not able to establish that the client was in care or control of the motor vehicle.
Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.