R. GRAHAM ZOPPI | SUCCESSES
DRINKING AND DRIVING SUCCESSES
R. v. E.E.M.
Mr. Zoppi’s client was pulled over police following complaint from another passing motorist that his client must be driving drunk. After stopping his client, the officer performed a roadside test, which the client failed. The client was read his rights to counsel, and he declined to exercise his right to speak to a lawyer. At the station, when again offered the chance to speak to a lawyer, the client declined. Despite this, the officer contacted duty counsel for the accused, and had him obtain legal advice, following which his breath samples were taken. Mr. Zoppi successfully argued that the readings should not be admitted on the basis that the breath tests were not performed “as soon as practicable” in the circumstances.
R. v. A.S.
Mr. Zoppi’s client had been pulled over after police had noticed that the accused’s vehicle had sat through an entire cycle of traffic light changes without moving. The officer had just asked the accused whether or not he’d been drinking that evening when the client began to jam his mouth full of crackers. The officer then asked the accused to give a roadside screening device breath sample. After Mr. Zoppi’s client made a few attempts to blow into the device that the officer believed were false attempts, the officer charged the accused client with the offence of Refuse Breath Sample. When this case went to trial, criminal lawyer Graham Zoppi was able to successfully argue that the officer didn’t have lawful grounds to demand that his client provide a breath sample. The client was acquitted of his charges.
R. v. M.G.
This was one of criminal defence lawyer Graham Zoppi’s landmark cases in Toronto. The accused had been charged by the Toronto police with the offence of Over 80. Mr. Zoppi served the court with an application that argued his client possessed a right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to have disclosed to her all the information and data on the historical maintenance and performance of the breathalyzer machine that had been used to test her. This application was successful, one of the first reported cases in Ontario in which this is so, and it has ben cited by judges in more than 30 subsequent decisions. This case has now changed the way that many Crown Attorney’s offices provide disclosure.
R. v. S.R.
The accused had been stopped by the police on the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto because of weaving while driving. After failing a test from a roadside screening device which police had him provide a sample for, the client was taken to the police station to provide two more samples of his breath. Both of these samples registered at 200, which is almost three times the legal limit. After being hired, criminal lawyer Graham Zoppi took the case to trial, where he successfully had the charges of Over 80 and Impaired Driving dismissed by applying for the breath sample to be excluded as evidence on the grounds that the officers didn’t have sufficient cause to require that the client blow into the roadside screening device upon being pulled over.
R. v. S.M.
In this matter, the police discovered Mr. Zoppi’s client behind the wheel of his car which was embedded in a snowbank. On the pavement which led up to the snowbank were skid marks. After the officers asked him to exit the vehicle, the accused displayed various severe signs of being intoxicated, including that he had wet his pants. During the defence of his client, Toronto criminal lawyer Graham Zoppi was able to argue successfully that the prosecution had failed to prove that the client was actually in “care and control” of the motor vehicle. His client was found not guilty.
R. v. R.B.
Mr. Zoppi’s client was determined to be at fault for a motor vehicle accident in which three cars were completely totalled. At the trial, criminal defence lawyer Graham Zoppi was able to successfully show that the client’s right to a speedy trial under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated by the delays in the proceedings, so the court dismissed the charges against him. If Mr. Zoppi had not made this creative argument under the Charter, his client would not have had any other available defence and would inevitably have been found guilty of a serious crime.
R. v. E.C.
After being stopped as part of the RIDE program, the client admitted to the police that he had been consuming alcohol, and the investigating officer noticed on his breath the smell of an alcoholic beverage. After the client failed the test of a roadside screening device sample, the officer had him provide a breath sample for an approved instrument, in which his breath gave readings of 140 and 150. When this matter went to trial, Graham Zoppi rigorously cross-examined the officer on her understanding and use of the roadside screening device. He challenged whether or not it was reasonable that she demand a formal breath sample based on the reading of “F” from the screening device. The judge at the trial found that the cross-examination revealed several important problems with the prosecution’s case, and so E.C. was acquitted of the charges.