Posts written by Matt Gould

Impaired driving

How Roadside Drug Tests Are Conducted for an Impaired Driving Offence

Section 253(1)(a) of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or a drug. It is also an offence to have care or control of a motor vehicle while impaired, even if the vehicle is not in motion.

What is impairment?

Impairment refers to a lessened ability to operate a motor vehicle. There is no special test in the Criminal Code for determining impairment. If the evidence shows any level of impairment, a driver may be charged under section 253(1)(a).

Evidence of impairment may include the smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, difficulty walking, and belligerence. Bad driving may also be a symptom of impairment, but ultimately this offence is about a person’s ability to drive rather than the quality of their driving. If there is evidence of impairment, it does not matter if an impaired driver is driving well and following all the rules of the road.

What is a drug?

A drug can be any substance causing impairment, whether illegal or not. It is possible to be impaired by legal substances (such as the fumes from certain chemicals) or by prescription drugs ordered by a doctor. This does not mean it is illegal to drive while taking prescription drugs, but it is illegal to drive if impaired by those drugs.

It is not necessary to be able to determine the drug used, or to be able to determine whether it is a drug or alcohol causing impairment; it is only necessary to show impairment. Impaired driving may be found even if the impairment is partly caused by a drug or alcohol and partly by fatigue.

What is “care or control”?

Care or control of a vehicle is a complicated concept, but basically refers to the risk that a vehicle will be put in motion. Occupying a position needed to operate the vehicle is sometimes enough to show care or control of the vehicle (for example, sitting in the driver’s seat of a car). Usually there must also be an intention to set the vehicle in motion, but this may not be the case if certain actions are taken that could lead to the vehicle unintentionally being set in motion (for example, turning on the ignition to listen to the radio or stay warm). Care or control may also be found when a person has the means and immediate capacity to operate the vehicle (for example, being in the vehicle with the keys).

Sentences for driving while impaired

Disclaimer: this article is for information purposes only and is not legal advice. For legal advice, contact Matt Gould now to discuss your case.

Is Vandalism Considered a Property-Related Offence?

Understanding the charges for specific items like vandalism can be a little challenging if you aren’t accustomed to the criminal justice system. You should know where each of your charges falls in terms of its type and its severity. After all, these charges directly influence your impending sentencing. You should take a few moments to learn more about property-related crimes and how vandalism fits into this category below.

What are property-related offences?

A property crime is any action that purposely defaces or destroys someone else’s property. This could refer directly to their personal property, such as electronics, their home, or even their car. It doesn’t have to include any type of bodily injury to the other party in order to fall into the property-related offences category. Property-related offences is a relatively broad category that includes low-level crimes all the way up to felony charges.

Stealing and theft of property do fall under this category unless there is an express intent to harm or to take the items by force. This then transforms into robbery, which is considered a crime of violence. It is still considered a property-related offence even if the perpetrator does not actually get away with the items in question.

Common examples of property-related offences include:

  • Theft
  • Larceny
  • Burglary
  • Shoplifting
  • Arson

How does vandalism fit in?

You might be wondering how vandalism fits into the property-related offences category. The very definition of vandalism is when you purposely destroy or deface the property of another person, allowing it to fit squarely into this category. In order for it to be considered vandalism, your actions must have taken place without the permission of the owner. It is not considered to be art, even if that was its primary intention.

Vandalism may be referred to by another common term depending on the damage: criminal damage, malicious trespass, or malicious mischief.

There are several different forms that vandalism can take. Graffiti isn’t the only act of vandalism that a person can commit. For more examples of property-related offences that fall under this category, you will want to see below for a more extensive list:

  • Throwing eggs at someone’s car or window
  • Scratching the paint off a car with a key or other object
  • Breaking windows
  • Slashing car tires
  • Defacing park benches
  • Knocking down or spray painting on street signs
  • Destroying property using your body

An officer may also charge you with a property-related offence of vandalism if you have the specific means to commit vandalism in your possession. This include spray paint bottles in a backpack, a glass cutter, or any other suspicious objects.


The penalty for vandalism can range from fines to imprisonment, and it most often includes restitution.

Being charged with a property-related offence can be extremely serious for the individual charged. You need to make sure that you have an effective criminal defence lawyer on your side. Give Matthew Gould a call today to see how he can help you to move forward through the court system with your charges.

Youth Offence: Why Young People are Treated Differently than Adults by Criminal Justice

Judge watching prosecution in court

When facing the consequences of a potentially serious crime, young people are frequently treated much differently than adults. The criminal justice system does handle adults and juveniles in different ways, primarily based on their age. However, many people struggle to understand why there is this subtle difference between the consequences of an adult’s crime and a child’s crime. Shouldn’t the punishment be equal across the board for everyone?

There’s an inherent flaw in issuing an equal consequence for everyone who commits the same crime. If we were to do this in our current justice system, we would lose all of the ability to have subtle nuance in our sentencing. Instead, we rely on a few of these primary differences to help explain why youth offences are treated differently than those committed by an adult.

Maturity Levels

Children under the age of eighteen have a much lower maturity level than most adults. This can lead to impulsive actions where a child may not have thought their choices all the way through before acting on them. You might also be aware that children lack the ability to plan for the future in the same manner as an adult. The developmental differences between children and adults can be significant. Youth offences are often treated differently because children lack the cognitive capacities of an adult.  

Instead, the criminal justice system focuses on helping children learn to take responsibility for their actions in order to achieve a healthier community reintegration later. They can help to increase a youth’s maturity to level to prevent recidivism in the future. This is also why the access to juvenile records is incredibly restricted. Criminal justice prevents children from being haunted by their misdoings as a result of their developmental and maturity levels.

Behavior Malleability

Children can be easily swayed and taught to change their actions over a long period of time. It might require a lot of intentional work, but it is definitely possible to see a positive shift for the future. It’s this malleability that allows the criminal justice system to treat children differently than adults. With intensive work and programs, youth can learn to make wiser decisions that support their community instead of the criminal ones that led to placement in the juvenile justice system.

As a result, juvenile justice adds an extra focus on rehabilitating its members. They provide treatments and interventions to help reintegrate them successfully back into the community once their term is over.

Because of the inherent differences between youth offences and their adult counterparts, criminal justice does tend to take a different approach. Children can be evaluated using a psychological framework that includes their social history whereas adults are judged solely on the crime they committed.

Whether you need criminal defence representation for a youth or an adult, you want to find one of the best. Matthew Gould can help you to expertly navigate the criminal justice system for a more favorable outcome to your next trial or hearing.

How to Prevent White Collar Crime

White collar crime in the business place seems to be on the rise these days, but employers feel powerless to put a stop to it. The good news is that you don’t have to blindly accept that crime is a part of every workplace. You can start to take preventative measures to deter your employees from committing a crime like an embezzlement before it ever happens. All it takes is a little bit of tact and expertise to put the necessary systems in place.

Stop worrying about when white collar crime will hit your place of business and start taking action. With these top tips to prevent it, your business will be in a much better place.

Install internet tracking software

Do you know what your employees are doing on their computers during work hours? They could be wasting hours playing on social media or starting to scheme their next crime. Either way, employers should be very cautious when allowing employees to have free reign over the internet. Install internet tracking software companywide to help hold everyone accountable to a much higher standard.

Monitor your staff better

Make sure that all of your security cameras work and be vigilant about checking for blind spots. You should definitely keep an eye on areas that house valuable items or cash drawers. Many employers grow lazy about watching their surveillance footage, but this could give you some insight into who is plotting an upcoming crime. If you don’t have any equipment yet, you need to be certain to purchase cameras and recording equipment that can store the videos. This enables you to access it again in the future just in case you missed something important.  

Hire a compliance officer

It might not be a glamorous position but hiring a compliance officer gives you a little more security. They can take over monitoring the business for a potential crime while you return to running the numbers. They may have the experience and training necessary to prevent this type of crime in the workplace. Don’t forget to give them the power they need to act on any suspicions they might have about a pending crime.

Hire an actual felon

According to expert Walter Pavlo, hiring a felon who previously committed a white collar crime might be a great way to deter future issues. You may not want to make this person your compliance officer, but it could be helpful to have them around the office. Your employees are faced with the real consequences of what a prison term might look like. It could make your employees think long and hard about what the consequences of their actions will be. After all, very few people realize just how long the prison sentences can be for white collar crime.

No matter how many preventative steps you take, you might still find that white collar crime is an issue. When you need an effective criminal defence lawyer, be sure to contact Matthew Gould to represent you or your business.

What is Considered Domestic Violence in Canada?

examples of criminal harassment

Domestic violence is on the rise in Canada with thousands of women and children seeking refuge in shelters across the country. According to the 2010 data, there were close to 99,000 victims of family violence in the country. This staggering statistic accounts for almost one-fourth of all the victims of violent crime. Women tended to be more susceptible to experiencing domestic violence than their male counterparts. In fact, the majority of the people injured by domestic violence were spouses.

Understanding what Canadian law considers to be domestic violence can be challenging because of the broad range of activities it can include. This charge can include the use of physical or sexual force, even if it is only threatened. A single instance of violence is sufficient enough to be considered domestic violence, even though regular abuse with assaultive or controlling actions will also fall into the same category.

Other actions that can result in domestic violence charges include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse (such as child pornography)
  • Kidnapping or forcible confinement
  • Trafficking of persons
  • Stalking (including indecent phone calls, trespassing, and other mischief)
  • Threats to harm children, pets, other people, or property

These actions must be done to a partner in an intimate relationship. While this can include current romantic entanglements, it also encompasses relationships between people in former dating relationships, common-law relationships, previous marriages, and couples who are parents of a child (even if they do not live together or have a relationship).

Domestic violence can be referred to by many different names including abuse, domestic assault, or domestic conflict. If the actions are directed toward a spouse, it may be labeled as spousal abuse or assault. Intimate partner abuse and assault also apply if you have not entered into wedlock with the perpetrator.

Still, there is a much broader category for family violence that can include an even greater number of offences. For example, financial abuse can also qualify under the family violence category. This includes actions such as theft, misappropriation of money held under direction, credit card theft, extortion, forgery, and fraud.

There is a rather broad understanding of what domestic violence is considered across Canada, but it is always taken very seriously. Many courts will issue a no-contact order until the trial is set and a final decision can be rendered. Most parts of Canada have developed initiatives that help to prevent domestic violence and protect the victims of the ordeal. It is best to abide by whatever terms have been set until the trial or appeal is over to prevent harsher measures from being taken. These are put in place to protect everyone’s best interests in a case.

If you face domestic violence charges or need criminal defence representation, you need a top-notch attorney to help. Contact Matthew Gould to serve as your experienced criminal defence trial lawyer. He can help you to know your rights, understand the law, and protect yourself from the harsh punishments that can come along with domestic violence charges.

What Actually Happens When You Get A DUI In Canada

Consequences Of The Canadian Impaired Driving Law

Canada has a law of prohibiting its citizens to drive when drunk. This is to prevent any road related crime due to alcohol.

DWI or driving while intoxicated is a criminal act, too. This is strictly implemented and charges when caught driving under the influence can be serious. Below are the consequences when you get a DUI in the country:

Consequences Of The Canadian Impaired Driving Law

What Happens When You Get A DUI In Canada

1. Criminal Conviction

Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a criminal offense. Thus, one of the consequences of the Canadian impaired driving law is being charged with a criminal conviction on the record of the offender.

Most prosecutions of DUI charges in the country lead to summary convictions, while sometimes they are also prosecuted as an indictment.

2. Jail Time And/Or Fines

The charge on your first offers when found guilty with DWI is that you will be fined with $1,000. However, if you get the same offense again within 10 years after the first one, it will result in being arrested and put to jail for a minimum of 30 days.

Subsequent penalties will cause you to be put in jail for at least 120 days. Moreover, when the prosecution is pursued as a summary conviction, the sentenace can be as long as 18 months.

3. Suspension Of License

What happens when you get a DUI in Canada is that your driver’s licensed will also be revoked. On your first offense, you won’t be able to drive for at least one year. On the second time of conviction, your licensed will be revoked for at least two years, and at least three years on the third case.

4. Additional Fines

Charges when caught driving under the influence also include having to pay other additional fees due to conviction which the amount may be between $500 to $2,000 on your first offense. On the second, aside from being put to jail, you may still need to pay fines on top of the arrest.

5. Restricted Entry

When you have a record of DUI or DWI in the United States in the past 10 years, you may have the chance not to be allowed to enter Canada. Since DUI is considered a criminal offense, one who is charged with DUI is only allowed to enter the country when claimed to be rehabilitated.

The consequences of the Canadian impaired driving law may be quite serious and can result to inconvenience for years. Thus, when charged with a DWI offense for whatever reasons, contact a DUI lawyer to help you plead and be free from the record of such crime.

What Actually Happens When You Get A DUI In Canada

Charges When Caught Driving Under The Influence

Avoiding all of these consequences by simply abiding the law is the best option. However, in case that you have already been charged with such criminal offense, defend yourself to avoid experiencing the consequences of the violation of the law, and contact the best DUI lawyers in the area.

Just Got DUI in Canada, Need Help

First of all, let me clarify by saying that getting a DUI (or to certain extent, a DWI) ANYWHERE in the world, not just in Canada is a bad idea. And I don’t mean that it’s a bad idea because you got caught, in fact, I appreciate it that a police officer actually stopped you (or your drunk-driving companion) and charged you with a DUI. Why? Because you deserve it, to say the least.

Driving after drinking alcohol




The term DUI (or Driving Under the Influence) is now so commonly heard around the world that at times I think it has lost its, how do I say this, power is the word that comes to my mind. Not so long ago, a DUI would be like a scarlet letter plastered on your chest (for Nathaniel Hawthorne fans), or a permanent tattoo on your forehead that proclaims to everyone that you are a sinner.


And let me be so bold to say, rightfully so. Driving after drinking alcohol, no matter how small the amount, is very dangerous. You can’t just say, “Oh I only had one shot of tequila. I’m good.” Every person responds to alcohol differently. And I think you would agree with me when I say that I won’t bet my life on your empty “promise” that you’re “good.”


Canada Laws


Canada is very strict on this matter, to say the least. And again, deservedly so. How many teenagers have gambled their future because they think they can drink and drive? How many mothers have lost their children to this carelessness? Millions of innocent people have been involved in accidents, that even though they were very careful drivers, the idiot drunk-drivers didn’t care.


Getting a DUI in Canada is a criminal offense. If you think that’s not meaningful, realize that in many parts of the world, a DUI is still considered  a misdemeanor or a felony at worst. Not in Canada, they are serious about this. Here’s a sample sentence—the very first(!) offence results in a $1000 fine and 12 months prohibited from any driving.


Lawyers Matter


If you think I’m too serious about this, you’re absolutely right. I had a friend who was killed by a drunk driver; my friend died, the drunk driver lived—and you think this is all a misdemeanor? Think again. Of course, we all deserve second chances. We all need help when it comes to a point when we don’t know how to defend ourselves in front of a judge (or the people we’ve hurt).  


This is where criminal lawyers come in. They use every ounce of their experience in the courtroom, every memory of the books that they studied for many year, and every skill in their toolkit to get you a chance to redeem yourself.


DUI in Canada is a criminal offense


Consult the Best


If ever you or a friend needs help with criminal cases like impaired driving related offences, Criminal Defence Trial Lawyer Matthew T. Gould of Winnipeg, Manitoba, would be a great choice. He has both the experience and the expertise to get you the best defense possible. If you are charged with any of the following:

  • impaired driving
  • drug offences
  • crimes of violence
  • domestic violence
  • and other criminal offences; Matt T. Gould will fight for you.


A second chance is given to everyone, even for drunk drivers.

Stalking in Canada: Definition and Overview

Definition of stalking in Canada includes repeatedly following, conversing and watching someones home. It is also known as criminal harassment according to the Criminal Code which is definitely against the harassment laws. It is not love but rather an abuse.

According to the former Senator Donald H. Oliver, it is an abominable crime treated lightly by the authorities like police and the national government. Stalking puts the victim into fear and terror and could lead to violence.

Stalking is common in Canadian. According to research, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics disclosed that 20,000 stalking cases were reported in 2009 where the majority of the victims were women.

examples of criminal harassment

Definition of Stalking in Canada

There are different perceptions of the term stalking. Many consider that any harassing behavior is already stalking. Some believe that a particular action should be life threatening to be defined as stalking.

Few believe that stalking is only infatuation and not a sexual attraction but power. Definition of stalking in Canada is almost the same in the United States. Few definitions of stalking in Canada include:

Repeated behavior over a period causing fear for the safety of the victims or someone is known to the victim.”

Behavior towards a person on at least two instances causing that person to fear.”

Merriam Webster dictionary defined stalking as “Someone that closely follows and observes other people over a period that may cause threat and danger.”

Cyberstalking on the internet is a form of cyberbullying is also considered an offence.

Who Can Be Considered as Stalkers

Have you tried to stalk someone? When are you considered a stalker? Who are considered as stalkers?

A stalker can be former friends, lovers, a simple acquaintance, spouse or even someone that you do not know. Anyone can be a stalker, some are well-educated and leading a good life. Some also have psychological disorders and mental problems.

There are some celebrities and public personalities that have been stalked like Steven Spielberg, Madonna, and David Letterman. Majority of those hunted are ordinary people.

There are two types of stalkers. The domestic and non-domestic stalkers. Domestic stalkers are those have past relationship with the victims. They are non-delusional.

Non-domestic stalkers, on the other hand, have no past relationship with the victim. Stalkers only think that they have the contact with the victim.

Behavior and examples of criminal harassment or stalking usually happen over a period.

Effects of Stalking

Men and women can be both a victim of stalking and can be stalkers. Some stalkers do not know that they are already stalking. Frequently victims do not realize that stalking is a criminal offence.

Effects of stalking on victims include mental health consequences. There are emotional, psychological, physical and behavioral effects. Victims may have trust issues in a relationship, lifestyle changes, stress, fear, paranoia, and anxiety.

criminal harassment defense

Feeling Accused? Contact Us

Are you being accused of stalking? It can be humiliating and defaming. There may also be emotional, psychological, physical and behavioral effects on you and your family. People and community become indifferent and hostile towards you.

An experienced and seasoned criminal harassment defense lawyer in Winnipeg, Canada like Matthew T. Gould can significantly help you. He will help you challenge these allegations of stalking. So, contact us now.


Learn the Mechanism of DUI Charges in Canada

Whether you are the perpetrator or the victim, inevitable things such as car accidents may happen, and the last thing that you want to end up with is knowing nothing about the law. As they all say, ignorance of the law excuses no one, and whether you like it or not, a charge has to be pressed against you or the other party involved, which is why learning how driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Canada work, can be useful when the situation calls for. Knowing what happens if you get a DUI in Canada and the mechanism of the criminal code of Canada impaired driving penalties, can help you anticipate what the necessary steps are when are presented with the situation.

is a dui a criminal offense in canada

Is a DUI a Criminal Offense in Canada?

If you are wondering if DUI is a criminal offense in Canada, it is, according to the criminal code of Canada for impaired driving penalties for DUI convictions. Many people have little to no knowledge of the DUI charges in Canada, and it is imperative that you know how drunk driving can result in legal consequences so that you can work your way through it in case you get arrested. Additionally, you need to know what happens if you get a DUI in Canada so that you can call a lawyer who can fight for your rights in court and give you legal advice after the arrest has been made.


What Happens if you Get a DUI in Canada?

Once you enter this sort of situation, you have to know what happens if you get a DUI in Canada and how the process of conviction goes so that you will not be further charged for refusal to cooperate. It is okay to travel drunk as long as you are not the driver or if the driver himself/ herself hasn’t taken in any alcohol but it’s another story if you’ve been driving (while traveling) drunk. Naturally, a police officer will conduct common tests like using approved device and instrument demands, field sobriety tests, and many others, and so, you have to cooperate accordingly.


How Do You Navigate Through the Laws Governing DUI Charges In Canada?

Entering into that sort of situation requires a bit of knowledge the laws governing DUI charges in Canada so that you can confirm is DUI is a criminal offense in Canada or not. Canadian regulation upon conviction may vary depending on the severity of the damages sustained by the victim, and by learning how these mechanisms for DUI charges in Canada work can help you (if you are the suspect) strategize to get a lesser degree of punishment from the court. Likewise, victims who know how to navigate through the criminal code of Canada impaired driving penalties can also help in ensuring that the consequences that a convicted person will receive are commensurate.

what happens if you get a dui in canada

How Is the Criminal Code of Canada Impaired Driving Penalties and Consequences Regulated?

Aside from having a DUI record in your entry, there are also pending penalties which you may encounter once your offense is convicted in court. In case that your counter pieces of evidence are inadmissible and that inadmissibility of these pieces of evidence remain unchanged, getting a pardon for your offense is the last hope you can get. Hence, avoid getting charged with DUI charges in Canada in the first place by not driving under the influence so that you won’t have to face legal consequences.

Is a DUI in Canada Considered a Criminal Offence?

DUI refers to driving motor transport although your alcohol blood content is beyond the legal limit. Driving beyond 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood is already an offense. DUI may be referred as drunk driving and driving while intoxicated (DWI).

If you have been caught driving under alcohol and drug influence, it may negatively affect your life. Thus, this must not be taken lightly.

However, what will you do if you’re suspected of driving under alcohol and drug influence? Is a DUI in Canada Considered a Criminal Offence? What are the possible sanctions and penalties?

impaired driving canada criminal code

Is a DUI in Canada Considered a Criminal Offence?

DUI in Canada is a Criminal Offence way back 1921. Impaired driving is a term used for criminal offences of driving a motor transport under alcohol and drug influence. These could be alcohol or drugs.

Based on the Criminal Code, DUI offense is punishable. DUI offense is considered as one of the prevalent criminal charges in Canada. Thus in 2008, the Canadian government implemented stringent restrictions and rigid penalties.

The country has one of the strictest blood alcohol laws in the western states. Sometimes, DUI charge can be categorized as indictable. This corresponds felony conviction in the American lexicon.

What to Do If You’re Suspected of DUI

If you are suspected of DUI, you have all the right of not incriminating yourself. Never tell the officers how much have you drunk. You may not execute, or sobriety tests could be refused.

Just present your vehicle registration as well as your driver’s license. When asked to blow in an Approved Screening Device (ASD), just do it.

ASD is used to determine the concentration of alcohol in your blood. It’s set for “warn” when your reading ranges from 50–80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. It’s set for “fail” when your reading is at 100mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

If you fail the test, police may declare a suspension of your driver’s licence for three months. He may invite you for breathalyser test at the police headquarters.

DUI Sanctions and Penalties

You can be possibly charged with impaired driving. Penalties may range from a criminal conviction, fines and going to jail, licence suspension, and international travel restrictions. A DUI may result in a criminal conviction that may reflect in your criminal record check.

The minimum sanction for DUI first offence is a fine of not less than $1,000. Punishment for the second offence within ten years is a minimum of 30 days in jail. A summary conviction may have a sentence of 18 months in maximum in jail time.

You may also lose your privilege of operating a motor transport. The first count of offense may result in a one-year driving prohibition. Second and third offences could suspend your driving privileges for at least two and three years, respectively.

If you are convicted for DUI in the US, your entry may be denied by the Canadian Immigration officer. Entering Canada would be hard. Only convictions for the last ten years are counted.

dui canada punishment

Seek Legal Assistance

Now, you know that DUI in Canada is considered a criminal offence? If you currently have a DUI case, hiring a Winnipeg criminal lawyer would always be helpful.

Lawyers can offer you the services you need in a professional and skilled manner. They have the full knowledge of the blood alcohol law of your land.