Obstructing a peace officer – discharge
A client of our firm was charged with wilfully obstructing a peace officer in the execution of their duties, thus committing the offence defined in Section 129 a) e) of the Criminal Code.
The problem in this case was that, a few months after our client was released, he broke a condition of undertaking: to refrain from consuming alcohol.
A second charge was filed against our client – breach of undertaking – who had thus committed the offence defined in Section 145 (5.1) b) of the Criminal Code.
The facts of the case:
A call was placed to the police regarding a fight between 8 people. According to the investigation, our client had committed wrongdoing and he had obstructed a peace officer by interfering with the operation.
Our client offered a guilty plea nearly 20 months after the events.
During sentencing, we had our client testify on the facts of the case.
We provided evidence that our client had not resisted arrest and that he had cooperated greatly with the investigation despite his high state of intoxication due to alcohol.
We provided evidence that our client had complied with the conditions of his release for 20 months and that he had made significant changes in his life.
Our client wanted to obtain a trade school diploma in plumbing and heating, and a criminal record could compromise his future job opportunities.
The court was not convinced on the point of best interests – that is to say, the real possibility that his future career would be jeopardized by a criminal record.
With the help of some precedents, we succeeded in convincing the court that it would be in the client’s best interests and not contrary to the public interest that our client avoid a criminal record.
- The young age of the accused (21 years old at the time of the events)
- His guilty plea, thus avoiding a trial
- His cooperation with the police
- His compliance with the conditions of his release for 20 months
- One day of pre-trial detention
- His positive lifestyle and significant changes in his life
- The deterrent effects of the legal process
- His sincere regrets expressed to the court
After extensive arguments, the court granted our client a conditional discharge, ordering him to perform 50 hours of community service within a 5-month period.
Our client thus avoided a criminal record.