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Police dragnet sweeps up 33 in Southwestern Ontario Month: December 2014

Month: December 2014

Police dragnet sweeps up 33 in Southwestern Ontario

With large-scale drug investigations, there is a risk of innocent people getting caught up in the dragnet. Sometimes police and prosecutors become overzealous and charge people whose only mistake was being in the wrong place at the wrong crime. After all, just because you are in the presence of someone in possession of drugs does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of a drug offence. Thirty-three people have been charged in connection with a drug investigation that the OPP says started in 2012. Ages of the defendants range from youth to middle age, and the charges mostly relate to…

Etobicoke woman cleared of failing to provide breath sample

An exhaustive, detail-oriented approach is typically necessary to defend successfully against a charge of impaired driving or driving over 80. While many people are charged with impaired driving each year in Ontario, not everyone accused of this offence is guilty. To arrive at the facts of the matter, these questions should be asked: Was the traffic stop legal? Were any of the driver's Charter rights violated? Is testimony from the arresting officer or officers consistent? Was the breath test valid? All of these matters came up in the case of an Etobicoke woman who was charged with failure to provide…

Negative repercussions follow false allegations of sexual assault

A person doesn't have to be convicted of a crime for allegations of sexual misconduct to have devastating consequences. If you have been accused of sexual assault or another sex-related offence, then you are facing the possibility of serious reputation damage and loss of your employment, and it is important to have a skilled criminal defence lawyer to intervene on your behalf as soon as possible. The repercussions of unsubstantiated allegations can affect an accused individual for years to come and beyond the borders of Canada. Consider the unfortunate case of a British Columbia man, a former police officer who was accused…

Supreme Court: Police don’t need a warrant to search your cellphone

In a controversial judgement, the Supreme Court of Canada recently decided that police officers are not required to obtain a warrant to search a suspect's cellphone. The 4-3 decision drew criticism from privacy experts, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. A director of that organization compared warrantless cellphone searches to "finding a house key in a pat down search and then using that key to conduct a warrantless search of the arrestee's house." In their strongly written opinion, the three dissenting judges further pointed out that cellphones are not weapons, nor are they briefcases or bags in which weapons could…

Stakes are high for defendants in meth lab cases

The production of methamphetamine is increasingly seen by prosecutors, judges and the general community as a public health issue, and judges are under significant pressure to "send a message" when sentencing people to jail for manufacturing or trafficking meth. Because the household chemicals used in many meth labs can be extremely volatile, fires and explosions sometimes result, and defendants find themselves accused of property-related offences in addition to drug offences. From a criminal defence perspective, these cases require a comprehensive approach, as the penalties upon conviction could include years in jail, as well as heavy fines. Jail sentences continue to…

Allegations of violent crime require custom defence strategies

When a person is accused of a violent crime, most people tend to presume guilt before all of the facts of the case are heard. Understandably, allegations of violence evoke strong emotions, but the reality is that everyone accused of a crime in Canada has a right to challenge the prosecution's evidence. In fact, many criminal cases are won by defendants before arguments are ever presented to a judge. Allegations of assault, murder, manslaughter and domestic violence arise from a wide variety of circumstances. In any case, defendants can be assured that the Crown prosecutor will interpret the evidence in…

Study connects use of crystal meth with traumatic brain injury

As anyone who has ever faced a drug charge related to the possession of methamphetamines can likely attest, the charges need to be taken seriously. This is because of the harsh penalties that could accompany a conviction. These penalties include: Jail time. Significant fines. A criminal record. With the serious impact potentially tied to the drug many may wonder what prompts someone to take the drug in the first place. A study recently conducted in Canada, and published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, may shed some light on the matter. The study, which focused on teenagers specifically, was funded by…

Questions of sexual assault draw sharp focus this winter in Ontario

In contrast to the normal holiday festivities, this winter is quickly becoming characterized as a time of heightened concern over sexual misconduct. In particular, allegations of sexual assault against popular media figures such as Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby have drawn sharp focus in Toronto, and all 20 provincial universities in Ontario recently announced new measures for dealing with on-campus sexual assault. Sexual assault charges arise from a variety of situations. Sometimes allegations refer to workplace or dating relationships; other times the accuser doesn't know the accused; in other cases, the charges refer to incidents that allegedly happened years ago. What is…

OPP cracking down on drivers impaired by drugs this holiday season

Each year during the holiday season, the Ontario Provincial Police and local law enforcement agencies crack down on impaired driving throughout the province. The OPP's annual Festive RIDE campaign is underway, and drivers should be aware that this season the police have a particular interest in charging motorists not only with driving while impaired by alcohol, but also with driving while impaired by drugs. Compared to the number of impaired driving charges from last year, the number this year has been down significantly. However, the OPP reports that incidents of driving while impaired by drugs increased by 32 per cent. It…

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