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Can the Defence present Evidence of a Complainant’s Sexual Activity in a Sexual Assault Case? Under Canada’s Criminal Code, evidence of a complainant’s sexual activity (other than the sexual activity that is the subject matter of the case) cannot be introduced at trial, unless a judge deems the sexual activity to be relevant or significant. Oct 29, 2018
Occupant in stopped Car is found ‘not guilty’ of DUI despite registering ‘over 80’ A man discovered behind the wheel of a disabled car at the side of the highway was found 'not guilty' of drunk driving when there was reasonable doubt that he was driving the car while drunk. Sep 04, 2018
Are Police still making Arrests for Marijuana Possession? While awaiting the legalization of marijuana, many Canadians are confused about the current penalties and whether they will be arrested and charged for possession before pot is decriminalized. Jul 13, 2018
Avoid stiff Penalties due to a Careless Driving Conviction Although Careless Driving is not a criminal offence in Ontario, a conviction may result in substantial penalties which particularly impacts people who drive for work. And, the penalties when careless driving results in injury or death may soon become more severe under newly proposed Ontario legislation. May 25, 2018
I’ve been proven Innocent - Can I sue for Malicious Prosecution? If you're found innocent after being maliciously prosecuted on criminal charges based on unreasonable grounds, you may sue the Crown or others who initiated the criminal charges. In a 2018 action, a B.C. couple successfully sued the Canada Revenue Agency for malicious prosecution and were awarded almost $1.4 Million in damages. Mar 27, 2018
Canada’s Jury Selection Process under Review after Gerald Stanley Murder Trial Public outcry after a jury found a Saskatchewan man ‘not guilty’ in the fatal shooting of a 22-year old First Nation’s man has resulted in questions whether Canada’s jury selection process is fair. Feb 20, 2018
Unreasonable Delay by the Crown results in Dismissal of Crown's Application to Extend Appeal of Fraud Charges The Crown sought to extend the appeal time for a case where a man was acquitted on a fraud charge. The court dismissed the Crown’s motion, finding that the Crown delayed in providing necessary legal documents, without reasonable explanation. Jan 16, 2018
Rules for admitting Expert Opinion Evidence in Criminal Trials Defence counsel or the Crown may challenge the admissibility of expert opinion evidence brought by the opposing side, and the judge must rule on whether the evidence is admissible, based on established case law principals. Nov 22, 2017
Drug Charges reduced from Trafficking to Possession Drug charges may be reduced from trafficking to possession when the amount of drugs could conceivably be for personal use, as in a recent Ontario case involving a man found in possession of oxycodone and morphine pills during a search pursuant to his arrest. Oct 11, 2017
Can Evidence of past Police Investigations be admitted in my Trial? In a 2017 criminal case involving a second-degree murder charge, a judge found that non-conviction incidents could not be presented by the Crown as evidence against the accused. Aug 22, 2017
Judge rules Defendant was Arbitrarily Detained when interrogated in Police Cruiser On Ontario judge dismissed an ‘over 80’ charge for a driver who was stopped for speeding and then interrogated at length in the arresting officer’s cruiser. Jul 19, 2017
Appeal Court dismisses minor Marijuana Possession Charge In a 2016 appeal on possession of only 1.15 g. of marijuana, the judge found that the arresting officer breached the accused’s Charter rights and in light of the fact that the charge fell in the low end of drug charges, the judge decided that an acquittal is in the best interests of justice. Jun 26, 2017
Judge doubts the Reliability of Complainants’ Testimony in Sexual Assault Case Three complainants in an extended family brought sexual assault charges against a relation, but an Ontario judge found their testimonies were inconsistent and not reliability and accordingly, the accused was acquitted on all charges. May 16, 2017
Dangerous Driving Conviction requires a 'Marked Departure', not a Standard of Perfection In a recent criminal trial, a judge dismissed charges of Dangerous Driving and Failing to Stop at the Scene against a TTC driver who accidentally and unknowingly struck and killed a girl. Apr 20, 2017
When is a Peace Bond the best Course of Action? Persons accused of criminal charges, such as domestic assault, are often given the option of entering a peace bond in exchange for the Crown withdrawing the criminal charge. This is an advantageous decision in many cases, but sometimes a peace bond may have negative consequences for the accused Apr 05, 2017
Judge upholds Acquittal on Impaired Driving Charge for Case involving Prescription Drugs combined with Alcohol On appeal, the judge upheld the acquittal of an impaired driving charge for a man who’s ability to drive was severely impacted after he combined a small amount of wine with a prescribed drug, Lorazepam. Mar 20, 2017
Ontario’s Attorney General calls for new Measures to speed up Criminal Trials In the wake of the July 2016 Supreme Court decision to limit the delays going to trial for criminal cases, Ontario’s Attorney General and others are calling for changes to facilitate a more prompt and just process. Mar 01, 2017
Are Canadian Courts applying the Law unfairly and too broadly for Sexual Assault Convictions involving ‘Positive-HIV Status’ A person may be convicted of sexual assault if they have positive-HIV status; they failed to inform their sexual partner of their condition before intercourse; and there’s a realistic possibility of transmitting HIV Feb 09, 2017
Acquittal on Drug Charges due to Serious Charter Rights Violations The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed drug charges and a ten-year sentencing conviction, after concluding that the police seriously violated several of the accused man’s Charter rights during his arrest. Jan 18, 2017
Our Right to be informed of our Rights to Counsel in our own Language In R. v. Khandal, a man was acquitted on ‘over 80’ charges because his Charter rights were violated when police failed to provide a Punjabi interpreter and make certain he understood his rights to counsel. Jan 06, 2017
Ontario Judge finds Accused’s Charter Rights were violated and dismisses ‘Over 80’ Charge An Ontario court acquitted a man on two DUI charges: ‘over 80’ charges were dismissed on a finding that the man’s Charter rights were violated on arrest; and he was acquitted of impaired drive due to reasonable doubt. Dec 13, 2016
Victim-Fine Surcharge: Blood from a Stone Canada's Minister of Justice recently announced plans to change the victim-fine surcharge regime, which since 2013, allows judges no discretion to reduce the surcharges for the poorest offenders or for victim-less crimes such as substance abuse offences. Oct 27, 2016
The Vader Case: A New Hope? The Travis Vader murder trial recently captured the attention of Canadians and was unusual in terms of being publicly broadcast and also because there was an immediate social media response by legal scholars who claim that the judge's reasons for his ruling are legally unsound. Sep 19, 2016
‘Not Guilty’ on DUI Charges if Defence Counsel can raise Reasonable Doubt In any criminal trial, an accused person must be acquitted if the defence can raise any reasonable doubt that they may not be guilty of the crime of which they're accused. Aug 28, 2016
Searches incident to Arrest – Expanding Police Powers In a 2016 sexual assault case, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a decision to allow DNA evidence obtained by a warrant-less penile swab. Aug 09, 2016
“Reasonably Prompt Justice”: A new Framework for the Right to be Tried within a Reasonable Time In response to exceedingly long delays in trying many criminal cases, on July 8, 2016 the Supreme Court of Canada established a presumptive ceiling on the time it should take to bring a case to trial Jul 25, 2016
What are my Rights when asked to take a Breathalyzer Test? In R. v. Swaida, the defendant's right to choose his own lawyer and also, his right to submit to an ASD roadside test without delay were breached during his DUI arrest. These breaches resulted in the exclusion of evidence and a dismissal of the DUI charge. Jul 18, 2016
What is Lawyer-client Privilege? Solicitor-client privilege refers to the special relationship between a client and their lawyer, in which everything told to your lawyer and learned during the client-lawyer relationship is permanently confidential. Jul 12, 2016
Jian Ghomeshi Trial provokes Debate about Defence Lawyer Procedures In cross-examinations on sensitive issues such as sexual assault accusations, defence lawyers owe their clients an ardent defence, which means asking tough questions which will invariably be of a sensitive nature. Jul 09, 2016
Rights Matter: Breath Evidence excluded after Turban not returned DUI charges were dismissed when breathalyzer evidence was excluded in a DUI case because the defendant's Charter right to freedom of religion was breached. The man's (an observant Sikh) turban was accidentally knocked off his head during his arrest but not returned to him for 3 hours. Jul 03, 2016
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