Posts

Impaired Driving in Canada: An Introduction

Image
IMPAIRED DRIVING IN CANADA - AN INTRODUCTION

This blog is brought to you courtesy of LawyerSelect.ca
What's the difference between "Over 80" and "Impaired Driving"?Both Impaired Driving and Over 80 are criminal offences that carry the exact same punishment. Additionally, both the offences arise when an individual allegedly operates a motor vehicle while their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug. That's not to say, however, that they're the same crime. To charge someone with Impaired Driving, police need to have reasonable grounds to believe that the individual in question is operating a motor vehicle while their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug. Unlike the offence of Over 80, there is no minimum blood-alcohol concentration required to charge someone with Impaired Driving. Therefore, the offence is dependent upon evidence of impairment, rather than a specific blood-alcohol concentration. Police typically gather evidence of imp…

Over 80: A Drinking a Driving Offence Explained

Image
Over 80: A Drinking a Driving Offence Explained

This blog is brought to you courtesy of LawyerSelect.ca What Does The Term “Over 80” Actually Mean?As you probably already know, the Canadian criminal law contains several offences that loosely fall under the umbrella of a DUI (driving under the influence). One of those offences is known as Over 80; but what exactly does it mean, and what is it referring to? Simply put, the term Over 80 refers to the offence of operating a motor vehicle (or having care and control of a motor vehicle) while an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is equal to, or more than, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Therefore, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood is the criminal limit, which we usually refer to as 0.08 (said: point zero eight). It is important to note that your ability to operate a motor vehicle may not actually be impaired despite your blood-alcohol concentration being in excess of 0.08. However, this is …

Is There A Statute Of Limitations On Crimes In Canada?

Image
Is There A Statute Of Limitations On Crimes In Canada?
This blog is brought to you courtesy of LawyerSelect.ca - Toronto's Premier Lawyer Referral Service
You may have recently read in the newspaper of a man by the name of Ronald Stan who, back in the mid-1970s, burned down a farmer’s barn in the Ontario county of Middlesex. After committing the crime, he travelled south to a small town in Oklahoma, where he resided for the next 37 years under an assumed identity. Despite being presumed dead by Canadian law enforcement, he was apprehended back where the crime was committed, 37 years later, in Middlesex County.
His arrest raised an interesting question: had the limitation period for charging him with arson lapsed? Before we answer that, it’s helpful to first understand what a limitation period is. Put simply, a limitation period is a law that defines a specific window of time during which a person who’s committed a criminal offence in Canada can be charged with that offence by law enf…

Unreasonable Delay - How Long Is Too Long To Wait For Your Criminal Trial?

Image
Unreasonable Delay - How Long Is Too Long To Wait For Your Criminal Trial?


This blog is brought to you courtesy of LawyerSelect.ca - Toronto's Premier Lawyer Referral Service

Section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states:
11. Proceedings in criminal and penal matters –Any person charged with an offence has the right ... b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
The primary purpose of sec. 11(b) is to protect the individual rights of an accused person from. More specifically, the rights that are protected are: (1) security of the person, (2) the right to liberty, and (3) the right to a fair trial. The right to security of the person is protected by seeking to minimize the anxiety, concern and stigma of exposure to criminal proceedings. The right to liberty is protected by seeking to minimize exposure to the restrictions on liberty which result from things like pre-trial incarceration and restrictive bail conditions. The right to a fair trial is protected by attemptin…

Do I Have To Give Police My Cellphone Password?

Image
Do I Have To Give Police My Cellphone Password?

This blog is brought to you by LawyerSelect.ca

As technology advances, both law enforcement and criminals will seek to use it to gain an advantage on the other. The duel between police and criminals is the embodiment of the notion of ebb and flow. One of them gains an upper hand temporarily, while the other rushes to catch up. This couldn’t be more true than it is for the case of cell phones. In August, 2016, a group made up of all the Canadian Chiefs of Police met and passed a non-binding resolution that called for the enactment of a law that empowers police to unlock digital devices. For some time now, police officials have sounded off complaints that high levels of criminal activity is going undetected, and the evidence of its commission is stored on encrypted mobile phones.
As it currently stands, there is no Canadian law that requires you to provide a police officer with the password to your mobile device. Police often look for cor…

Does a Cellphone User Have A Privacy Interest in the Cell Records of an Account Held By Someone Else?

Image
Does a Cellphone User Have A Privacy Interest in the Cell Records of an Account Held By Someone Else?
This blog has been brought to you by LawyerSelect.ca
In 2013, I represented a client who was charged with fraud over $5000. The Crown alleged that he drove drunk and hit his vehicle, and rather than reporting the collision, he abandoned the vehicle and reported it stolen the next day. During the course of their investigation, police obtained a production order for the cell records of my client’s cell phone. They used the cell tower records to show that my client wasn’t near where he said he was at the time in question. But the phone didn’t technically belong to my client; rather, the line was registered under his girlfriend’s name. However, he provided police with the number to that phone when they requested a contact number, and when asked if that was his number, he responded in the affirmative. At all material times, my client used the phone like it was his, and made it clear to oth…

Do I Need The Other Person’s Permission To Record A Conversation?

Image
Do I Need The Other Person’s Permission To Record A Conversation?
This blog has been brought to you by LawyerSelect.ca
There is a lot of misleading information out there about the law in Canada regarding recorded conversations. Some of that misinformation is as a result of American laws finding their way to Canadians through television shows and other mediums.
As it stands, the law in Canada states that it’s legal to record a conversation so long as one of the parties to the conversation consents. That means if you’re a party to the conversation, then you can legally record it, since you’re giving your consent. So, to be clear, you’re always allowed to record a conversation that you’re a party to without notifying the other party or parties or obtaining their consent.
However, the law is entirely different when the conversation in question is between other people, to which you’re not a party. As such, Canadian law makes a clear distinction between the legality of recording a conversa…