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Nearly everyone in Burlington knows that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects individual citizens from a government that might otherwise infringe upon their rights. Sometimes, however, law enforcement violates the Charter and arrest individuals in the process. Yet in these situations, criminal defence lawyers can raise rights violations and have evidence thrown out or charges dropped. It is always important to consult a criminal defence lawyer when an individual’s rights have been violated, as it is a complicated area of law.
One of the most common violations is the Section Eight protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Police must respect the areas in which an individual has a right to privacy, such as his or her home. If they wish to search it, they need a search warrant, which itself requires sufficient evidence.
CTV News has recently reported on the arrest of two Burlington men on suspicion of hashish, marijuana and cocaine possession and trafficking. The men were arrested after Burlington police searched a private residence, yet it is unclear what evidence the police relied upon to get the search warrant in the first place. If there is any question about the sufficiency or credibility of the evidence, however, the men’s criminal defence lawyers may wish to raise a possible violation of their Section 8 rights. As the penalty for drug possession and trafficking can be quite severe, it is wise to argue any potential violations of their rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
The two young men have been charged and were subsequently released on the promise that they would return to court in October.
Source: CTV News, “Two men charged with trafficking in Burlington drug bust,” 24 Aug. 2013