Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan is a partner at NextLaw, and licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

5 Things to Avoid During a Free Stunt Driving Consultation

After you have a stunt driving charge, you will want to start “interviewing” legal professionals for information and/or representation.  I have handled over 5,000 phone calls and have heard horror stories of consultations with other legal professionals.  Here are some tips that should necessitate an immediate end to the phone call.

1. “We win or it’s free” or any other guarantee

I always tell my potential clients, that if you spoke to another legal representative and they guaranteed you a result….HANG UP THE PHONE.  This is the biggest red flag when having a consultation.  First, there are Law Society rules against guarantees.  But that aside, there is logistical flaws.  The legal representative doesn’t set the rules of the game – the prosecutor does.  The prosecutor makes the first play, and asks for a certain charge, or certain penalties.  Once the legal representative gets the disclosure (evidence) against you, and only then, can they establish a course of action to pursue to fight against the charges.  This is just a trick of the trade to try to close your business.  A legal rep is telling you something that you WANT to hear.  And that is a very uncomfortable situation to be in.  It is always best to lay out facts and set realistic expectations.

2. Pricing that is oddly cheap or oddly expensive

This is also a tricky subject.  If you are simply basing your call on price, then you may want to reconsider hiring a legal professional.  You are not getting a new computer, and searching Amazon for the cheapest price.  You are buying experience, advice, and strategy.   Your livelihood is on the line – your ability to work and feed your family.  Certain legal professionals will try to close your business by trying to charge “less” than everyone else.  While this may seem great for your wallet, you have to ask yourself “why is this person so much less expensive?”  Suspicious.Also, certain legal professionals can smell fear on the phone call, and they will charge crazy high amounts of money.  In this scenario, take a breath, and leave the phone call without a commitment.  You can always call back and accept the offer, but do not feel pressured.  There are many legal professionals that can help you.

3. Lawyers vs Ex-Cops

There are two licensed professionals that can represent you in Traffic court – Lawyers and Paralegals.  The most common is “ex-cops” such as X-Copper, etc.  These are generally employed paralegals that work for a bigger franchise company.  The marketing here is king – the connotation that they used to be Police officers, and therefore have a unique insight into traffic offences.  This is probably correct that they have insight into witnessing and dealing with traffic offences during their enforcement careers.  But defending a live human being accused of an offence is a completely different skill set.  So do not be fooled by marketing.  You are hiring the individual, not the marketing machine.

Try Ontario's Only Stunt Drive Penalty Calculator

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