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Toronto Criminal Law Blog

Know Your Rights: Get in Touch with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being arrested, detained or charged with a crime can leave you feeling scared and vulnerable. It’s important to remember that in a situation like this, you still have rights. Under Section 10 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, everyone has the right on arrest or detention: To be informed promptly of the reasons therefor; To retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and To have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful. It is always in your best…

Bill C-51 and its Implications.

What is Bill C-51?   According to the Government of Canada’s website it is, “Legislation introduced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on June 6, 2017 [that] reflects the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to ensure that Canada’s criminal justice system protects Canadians, holds offenders to account, shows compassion to victims, and upholds the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Advocates for those falsely accused of sex crimes have a different interpretation. While the Bill is meant to “ensure that victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence are treated with the utmost compassion and respect”, it…

New (and arguably absurd) drinking and driving offences.

By Joseph Neuberger and Christopher Assié Originally published by Lexus Nexis. (www.thelawyersdaily.ca)       The new amendments to the Criminal Code have changed the drinking and driving landscape significantly. Two changes are attracting particular attention due to their impacts on protected Charter rights and a serious potential for wrongful convictions. Arguably the most concerning amendment is the creation of a new offence — consuming too much alcohol or drugs after driving. Under s. 320.14(a) and (b), anyone with a blood alcohol concentration or blood drug concentration above the prescribed limits two hours after they have ceased driving is guilty…

The Advantage of Hiring a Domestic Assault Lawyer

Life has a habit of throwing you curves. There can be situations where, in a million years, you would have never expected that you would need to hire a criminal defence lawyer. Domestic abuse allegations are very serious and can have dire consequences for the person accused of family relations, including custody and access to children. In Ontario, there are mandatory charge polices that result in a charge or charges being laid with only the statement of the complainant to substantiate the allegations. The person who is accused of such an offence has his or her life turned upside down…

The Common Use of Domestic and Sexual Assault Allegations

We live in an age where sexual assault and domestic violence allegations are being taken more seriously than ever before. And for the true victims of these crimes, this comes as a welcome relief.  Sadly however, there are those that would take advantage of the seriousness of such allegations and falsely use them to their own benefit. Being falsely accused of domestic violence - whether an assault or sexual assault - is common in high conflict divorce cases.  These allegations are often used to gain an advantage in family court proceedings particularly when access and custody is an issue.  These…

CAPACITY TO CONSENT TO SEXUAL ACTIVITY

Joseph A. Neuberger, LL.B., LL.M., C.S. Neuberger & Partners LLP   Having defended well over 1000 sexual assault cases, a considerable percentage have involved alleged sexual assaults when both parties have been drinking or under the influence of a drug.  The thrust of the prosecution case is that as a result of the complainant’s level of intoxication, she or he lacked the capacity to consent to sex. Often during cross-examination the complainant alleges that “he knew I was drunk, and I couldn’t’ consent”.  The legal error with this is that the law is very clear and well established that a…

Recreational cannabis will pose new challenges for law enforcement

The legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada has raised various questions about how law enforcement will deal with a likely increase in impaired driving charges. If we want to know what the future might have in store,, we can look at the State of Colorado which legalized recreational marijuana approximately four years ago. In Colorado, the rate of impaired driving under the influence of cannabis has dramatically increased. In fact, since legalization more than 20% of drivers involved in fatal traffic accidents tested positive for cannabis. [i] When more than 150,000 cannabis users in Colorado were surveyed, almost 70% admitted…

Police charge Whitby driver after seizing over 40 kg of marijuana

Marijuana possession and use will be legal in Canada after October 17, 2018. But a Whitby driver greatly exceeded the new 30-gram limit and is facing charges after police seized 44 kilograms of marijuana from his car. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) allege that the driver was speeding on Highway 401 near Napanee. When police pulled the driver over, they saw large garbage bags in the back of his vehicle. They searched the vehicle. The police found 44 kilograms of cannabis in several garbage bags in the vehicle’s back seat and its trunk. The police arrested and charged the driver with speeding…

Text messages are protected against illegal search-and-seizure

Most text messages you send to another person are safe from unreasonable search or seizure by the police. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that people have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ when they send messages to someone else’s smartphone. This is not automatic. Courts will decide if the expectation of privacy applies based on the facts of a case. Consult an lawyer to determine if texts you sent are safe from police search and seizure. Nour Marakah was convicted of trafficking handguns in 2014. Police obtained text messages Marakah sent to his accomplice Winchester for Winchester’s iPhone. The trial judge held…

Grandmother charged with impaired driving and failure to remain

A 54-year-old Whitby grandmother who crashed her SUV, sending her baby grandson to hospital, is facing impaired driving charges. The woman couldn’t control her vehicle and drove it through a fence. After entering an intersection, she could not drive away because the damage to the SUV was so extensive. The police took the grandmother and her grandson to hospital after finding them in their SUV. The boy was treated for minor cuts and scrapes and then released. The police then charged the woman with impaired driving and with failing to remain at the scene of an accident. Both impaired driving…

Will cannabis criminal records be expunged after legalization?

Before October 16, 2018, an adult possessing 30 grams of cannabis is breaking the law. If convicted of possession, that person will have a criminal record. On and after October 17, 2018, possessing that cannabis will be perfectly legal. But a person’s criminal record for possessing cannabis will remain. This record can only be expunged under certain conditions and with the help of a criminal lawyer. Why a person’s criminal record for cannabis remains The federal government still strictly enforces the existing law. The law of the land will be upheld until it is changed in October. Amnesty for anyone convicted…

Will police test you for drug-impaired driving?

Soon, you may be asking “What is my nanogram count?” if you decide to drive after using cannabis. In June 2018, the federal government established new offences for cannabis-impaired driving. Lawyers will be studying the new laws to be ready to assist people charged with the new offences when they go into effect on December 19, 2018. How the drug-impaired driving test works The test will be similar to the breathalyzer tests used for alcohol impairment. The tests reportedly detect the amount of THC – cannabis’ main psychoactive component – in your body by measuring how many nanograms (a billionth of a…

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