Weapons Offences

Weapons Offences

Regina v. H.C. (2020)

H.C. found not guilty after three-day judge alone trial, Toronto of Robbery with a Firearm. Someone had posted a fake escort advertisement and when the complainant showed up for his ‘date’, he was met by two masked robbers who pointed firearms at him and robbed him. The complainant could not provide clear identification of the robbers. All the police had to go on was the cellphone number that was used in the advertisement. A couple of weeks later, the police received a call from an anonymous tipster describing having been robbed in the same manner as the complainant with the robbers using the same fake advertisement for the escort and the same phone number. The tipster indicated that he had been instructed by the robbers to attend a particular address. The police went to the area and located H.C. and his co-accused sitting in a vehicle. The police arrested them. They located two firearms and the cellphone with the phone number used in the fake advertisements. The police acquired the phone records for the cellphone. Though it was registered to a fake name, the phone was used to make several calls to family members of H.C. Christopher Assie of Neuberger & Partners LLP, was retained as the criminal defence lawyer. In discussions with the Crown, the Crown felt it was a “slam dunk” against H.C. but that they did not have sufficient evidence against H.C.’s co-accused and eventually withdrew against him prior to trial. The Crown was very confident and did not understand why H.C. was not pleading guilty. After all, the phone that was used to set up the robberies made repeated calls to H.C.’s family in the month of the robberies, H.C. was found in a vehicle with the cellphone in question, with H.C. and two firearms. In the Crown’s opinion, this was slam dunk. However, under careful scrutiny, the evidence melted away. The Crown was unable to call the evidence that the cellphone was used on the night H.C. was arrested to set up an identical robbery to the one he was on trial for. The reason was that the anonymous tipster’s statements to the police was hearsay and thus inadmissible. The relevance of the two firearms found in the car on night of the arrest was not relevant to proving the identity of the robbers. The firearms used on the night of the robbery were described differently than those located in the car on the night of the arrest. The Crown failed to appreciate that the co-accused – the one whom the Crown ultimately withdrew against – was H.C.’s cousin. The defence was able to establish that it was common for H.C.’s cousin to contact his extended family members by phone. How then could we be sure that the phone belonged to H.C. and not his former co-accused? Both equally had access to the phone that was linked to the robbery. In the end, the judge found H.C. not guilty of all charges.

Regina v. X.W. (2020)

Charges of Importing a Prohibited Device x 2 and Possession of a Prohibited Device (Suppressor), and Custom Act charges all withdrawn after extensive pre-trials, Newmarket Court. X.W. participates in the airsoft sport and has numerous airsoft weapons. He ordered online devices from a Chinese manufacturer for his airsoft weapons. The devices were seized by Canadian Customs and examined. The Customs officer did a Google search and determined that the items were “suppressors” and hence prohibited devices. A controlled delivery was set up and the client was arrested by ETF. Joseph Neuberger was retained as his criminal defence lawyer. Joseph Neuberger immediately wrote to the Crown that a search via Google was insufficient to determine if the items seized were “prohibited devices” and requested the police to have the Centre of Forensic Science test the items as to their operability. Joseph Neuberger also retained a firearms expert to assist with review of the Crown’s report should it be necessary. In addition, criminal lawyer Joseph Neuberger, researched the manufacturer of the impugned items and determined that these items do not meet the specifications for suppressors and thus would not meet the definition of prohibited devices. After receipt of the CFS report, it was determined that the devices were in fact not “prohibited devices” and thus all charges were withdrawn.


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Toronto, ON M6C 2E4
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On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in COVID-19 on Tuesday March 17, 2020.

At Neuberger and Partners, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and have implemented safety measures to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. Our priority is and always will be the health, well-being and safety of our staff, clients and colleagues.

We have put in place various measures to prevent and minimize the impact of COVID-19:

  • In addition to standard hand-washing habits, our staff are washing hands before and after every client interaction;
  • All individuals entering our office will be required to use our hand sanitizer to ensure the safety of our other clients and staff;
  • Regular disinfecting of our offices, public areas, meeting rooms and board rooms as well as increasing the frequency of disinfection of higher-traffic surface areas;
  • If a lawyer or client who has a scheduled meeting is feeling unwell, they will be strongly encouraged to stay home;
  • For the time being, we will avoid greeting clients and colleagues with our usual handshakes;
  • We will make every effort to ensure our firm will be stocked up with extra tissue and alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and
  • We will monitor and stay informed from the Government of Canada and World Health Organization for facts as they become available. We will ensure all staff and team members are educated on symptoms and are well informed on prevention and best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the firm still run if there are closures?

  • We are committed to assisting our clients. We remain open to assist our clients at this time (following aforementioned standards for health and safety). For clients who wish to communicate with our firm virtually, we have the technology for virtual meetings and are able to respond to the needs of our clients in a manner best to protect our staff and clients’ health.

Are staff and lawyers set up to work virtually?

  • All lawyers and staff are set up to work virtually and continue to assist clients and one another remotely. All lawyers are available via telephone, email and virtual video conferencing.

What is the court situation? How will we deal with court closures?

  • At this time, the Superior Court of Justice is closed from March 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020 – unless a judge orders otherwise.
    If you have a March matter, your matter will be postponed to June 2, 2020.
    April matters will be postponed to June 3, 2020 and May matters will be pushed to June 4, 2020.
  • Similarly, the Ontario Court of Justice will be closed for 10 weeks for all out of custody matters in criminal practice court. In custody matters will still be addressed. It is unclear if out of custody matters such as trials or preliminary hearings will continue since the courts have left this decision to the discretion of the judges. However, Bail courts will remain open for the time being.
  • The Court of Appeal for Ontario has suspended all scheduled appeals until April 3, 2020. But we are still able to file materials and apply for urgent appeals to be heard.
  • We will advise clients by email of their next Court date.

How can payments be made?

  • Payments can be made via e-transfer and visa payments can be made over the phone.

If I have to deliver something to my lawyer, how shall I go about it?

  • For clients who wish to drop off documents but do not wish to come in contact with any one at the firm, you are encouraged to drop them off in our mail slot in front of our office.

We will be open and available for any questions, comments or concerns. Please call (416) 364-3111 for any further information.

Stay safe and healthy,

Joseph Neuberger