HOW LONG WILL MY CASE TAKE?
This depends on the complexities of the case and, in many cases, how long you want it to take. The first 60 days of a case are often the most important in creating a proper strategy. From that point, sometimes there are reasons to delay relating to your case, your work or your record. In other cases the goal is to finish things immediately. The real question is -what will get you the best outcome?
NOVICE DRIVER RESTRICTIONS
Anyone aged 21 or younger who is found driving with alcohol in their system faces consequences that older drivers do not. This is because of the increased crash risk of people in this age group, especially when drinking. Even if the driver's Blood Alcohol Concentration is under the criminal limit, if it is above zero then they face an immediate driver's license suspension and, if convicted, a fine and a further loss of license. The difference between this breach of your licensing condition and a more generic one can also affect your insurance in vastly different ways. Pleading to a generic breach vs. an alcohol breach is very important.
DISCHARGE VS. CONVICTION
People who have been found guilty of certain offences may not be convicted of a crime. They may be discharged, either absolutely or conditionally. If conditionally, they may face a period of probation. There can still be a court fee called a victim fine surcharge. If a person follows the requirements of their discharge then the record is eventually sealed. This works well for some people but can still cause troubles when crossing the border or getting certain kinds of work. A conviction is worse and requires a pardon or record suspension to expunge and even then may not go away. If you are wondering how a discharge would affect you, then contact your lawyer directly.
IS BEING CHARGED WITH A PROVINCIAL OFFENCE MATTER BETTER THAN A CRIMINAL CHARGE?
Often, POA matters are better than criminal charges as they do not carry the same social stigma and criminal record. However, in some cases, the penalties for POA matters are vastly worse than similar criminal charges. For example, Environmental Protection Act charges carry fines vastly higher than most criminal matters. Another example is Flight from Police: in Criminal Court you may only face a fine and a one year loss of license if handles correctly, in POA the minimum is jail, fines and much longer loss of license. Only a lawyer can properly advise you on what is best for you.
SMOKING AND DRIVING
As of January 21, 2009, it became illegal to smoke in a motor vehicle with passengers under the age of 16. While it currently (July, 2017) only applies to tobacco products, it may expand to marijuana in the near future. Police must only honestly and reasonably believe that a passenger is under 16.
DRINKING AND PROBATION TERMS
Probation is meant to help rehabilitate a person. Often alcohol or drugs are a part of the reason that a person has become involved in the criminal justice system. In certain cases the court will prohibit a person from drinking during probation. Other times they will require a person to complete counselling. Often, this decision is made quickly based on what a client tells their lawyer. If you have a drinking addiction you need to tell your lawyer as a complete ban on drinking is likely to invite a breach of your terms. However, this suggests that you may need counselling. If you do not have an addiction but do not want to complete counselling, then you may need to be ready to go without a drink for the time you are on probation.