Regina v. J.A.A. [Provincial Court – May 2015]

JAA was a Vancouver resident attending his final year at the University of Calgary. According to the police, after enjoying the festivities at the weekly U of C pub night he entered his shiny new convertible and proceeded to smash into no less than five parked cars. JAA was apprehended by campus security standing “outside” his damaged sports car with keys in hand. According to campus security personnel JAA vacillated between stating that he was the driver and stating that he was not the driver of the offending vehicle. Campus security quickly downloaded security camera footage which captured the entire event. The police attended the scene, seized the video and arrested JAA for impaired driving. JAA was escorted to the police station where two samples of his breath were taken with readings over twice the legal limit. The police charged JAA with impaired driving, over 0.08 and hit and run.

Notwithstanding the apparent strength of the case for the prosecution Patrick Fagan entered pleas of not guilty to all three charges and scheduled a trial. A full blown trial was held during which a half a dozen Crown witnesses were called; the defence called no evidence.

Bottom Line: Patrick Fagan was successful in securing a dismissal of the 0.08 charge as a consequence of the Crown’s failure/ refusal to provide disclosure of all documentation germane to servicing of the intoxilyzer into which JAA’s breath samples were taken. As for the charge of impaired driving, Patrick Fagan succeeded (through cross-examination) in undermining the testimony of university security personnel and police officers relative to the criminal issue of identification of JAA as the driver at the relevant time. The learned Provincial Court Judge was left with a reasonable doubt as to whether JAA was the operator of the motor vehicle at the relevant time and entered verdicts on not guilty on all charges.

Patrick Fagan

Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.

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