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Toronto Criminal Law Blog

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 and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

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 that Marakah had no expectation of privacy for text messages once he had sent them. By sending them, Marakah gave up control over his texts to the recipient Winchester.

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.

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.

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.

What to expect if police suspect you are driving on drugs

It is no mystery why Ontario law enforcement and safety advocates urge drivers to stay off the road after they have been using any substances that may result in impairment. Driving under the influence of drugs, even certain prescription drugs, raises the possibility that you will be involved in a motor vehicle accident that could cause you or others to suffer serious or fatal injuries. For this reason, if the police pull you over under suspicion that you have been taking drugs, your options may be limited.

An arrest and conviction for driving under the influence of drugs can have a devastating effect on your future. Your professional license, your career and your opportunities are at risk. It is important that you know your rights and take every precaution to protect them as the police gather evidence during a traffic stop.

Ontario doctor accused of sexual assault

A physician is facing assault charges after a woman in her 50s alleged that he assaulted her at a medical appointment in 2016. Police say they charged the Ottawa, Ontario, doctor with sexual assault after reviewing a complaint the woman made in February of 2017. Investigators are asking other alleged victims to come forward.

The woman said she was alone with the now 44-year-old doctor in an examination room when the abuse supposedly happened. The College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario has limited the physician's practice, noting professional misconduct allegations. In its decision, the college said the doctor has been accused of allegedly touching the woman's genital area in a sexual or inappropriate manner while also supposedly making sexual remarks to her.  

Criminal defence: Man guilty of drug dealing after 2 acquittals

A Leamington store owner was recently found guilty of drug trafficking after having been acquitted twice. The man, 54 years old, was found guilty by an Ontario Court Justice in Windsor. The OPP began looking into allegations the man was selling drugs to kids four years ago. 

Police began to watch the accused after having been acquitted for charges in the past. He was arrested again, and this time he may be facing time in prison after having been found guilty. During their search police confiscated more than $20,000 in cash. With regard to the man's first retrial, police also confiscated some drugs allegedly found in a card rack in the man's store and in a big bag of rice. Those drugs reportedly included fentanyl patches, cocaine, hydromorphone and cocaine.

Ontario doctor must pay thousands of dollars over sexual assault

A still-practicing physician from Ontario has been ordered to pay nearly $700,000 in connection with a sexual assault for which he was found responsible last year. The Sarnia doctor was found liable in civil court of the 1999 sexual assault of a former colleague and friend and ordered to pay her $200,000 in damages. The doctor has also been ordered to pay prejudgment interest to the tune of more than $155,000, court costs of $325,000 and $15,000 in fees pertaining to his appeal.

The doctor was not charged criminally for the incident since the victim did not notify police at the time.  The defendant told the court that both he and his colleague were married to others at the time and involved in an affair -- an assertion the woman, who is also a doctor, denied. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently conducting its own investigation since the doctor is still practicing medicine despite the civil court judgment.

Violent crime: Ontario medical marijuana dispensary robbed

An illegal medical marijuana dispensary was apparently the site of two thefts over a three-month period. Law enforcement authorities say that the London, Ontario dispensary, or the Downtown Relief Centre as it's known, was targeted recently by more than one suspect. Witnesses of the apparent violent crime said the suspects, who appeared to be armed, entered the shop at around 10 p.m. while some customers and employees were still there. When the cops arrived on the scene about 20 minutes later, they said the store was empty.

Cops are being quiet about the number of suspects they're investigating; however, no one was injured in the robbery. Police aren't releasing details about what and how much was stolen, either. Reportedly, this robbery happened after a break-in of the same place weeks before. 


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