R. v. Czorny

[1996] O.J. No. 3410

Facts

ON GD

Czorny was offered an opportunity to speak to a lawyer. Since Czorny did not know any lawyers, a police officer telephoned a legal aid lawyer. Czorny was advised by the lawyer not to perform any physical tests. The lawyer advised him to consent to a breathalyzer test. The lawyer gave Czorny this advice without asking for any background information.

Issue

ON GD

Right to Counsel

Held

ON GD

Czorny was acquitted. Czorny was denied the right to make an informed choice regarding his legal rights and obligations. The advice he received was inadequate. The lawyer did not make a reasonable investigation into the arrest. The adequacy of the advice did not depend on whether Czorny was obligated to take the test. The advice disregarded any potential defences Czorny may have had. His right to counsel was effectively denied.