Should impaired driving lawyers be ashamed of themselves?

Every so often we receive an e-mail from someone who is . . . let’s say disgruntled with what we do.

Here’s one from a reader (John) who believes that we (our business) should lose our licence (I’m not certain which licence), and that impaired driving lawyers should be ashamed of themselves.

I’ve reprinted John’s e-mail below, and below that is my response to him.

Your company should lose its’ license and the lawyers should be ashamed of themselves, getting these drivers off on technicalities, time after time.

If your guilty … your guilty. Why do you want them back on the road?  All about money in your pockets. Hopefully you or your family are never affected by one of these criminals. They shouldn’t have the privilege of driving and in some cases should be behind bars !

Sickened

Here is my response:

Thank you for taking the time to write and express your opinion.

Everyone charged with a crime in Canada is innocent until proven guilty. Even people facing the most heinous allegations are innocent in the eyes of the law.

Our job at ImpairedDriving.ca is to inform people about Canadian criminal law as it pertains to impaired driving. We encourage people to learn what they can from our site, and then to contact an impaired driving lawyer to discuss the particulars of their own case. We do this so that people can make an informed decision when they enter their plea to their charge. Judges expect people to be informed when they enter their charges. We provide a method for people to get the information they need.

As for defence lawyers, their job is to defend. They do not judge the guilt or innocence of their clients. That is left to a judge or a jury, who is charged with the duty of listening to the evidence put forward by the State. Only when the state proves its case “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a person to be convicted.

You might hear people say (or maybe you say it yourself) that the system is set up to protect criminals. Nothing could be further from the truth. In our system of law we strive to protect the innocent from wrongful conviction. Sometimes “guilty” people go free because of what you call “technicalities”. But these technicalities provide each of us from the potential abuses of a too powerful state.

If you have a better system, one that ensures our freedoms and protects the morally innocent, please let me know what it is. More importantly, let your MP and MLA know what it is so that they can make the necessary changes to our legislation. But if the system you propose is one that results in more innocent people being convicted because we “think” they did something wrong, I’m not interested.

I applaud John for taking the time to write and express his opinion. I disagree with him, but I thank him for making me think about what we do and the information we put on our impaired driving website. But nothing he said in his e-mail persuaded me to change anything on our website. If you see something on our website that you believe is inaccurate, please let us know.

What do you think?

Should we give information to people who have been charged with impaired driving (or any other crime) so that they can make an informed decision?

Should they be informed that they have rights?

That the police sometimes make mistakes?

That the prosecution might not be able to prove it’s case?

Or should we only give that information to the people that “we” believe are worthy of it.

Let us know what you think.

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