Archive for 'Articles'

How sentences in criminal cases are determined

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I recently read about a criminal case in the newspaper involving a police officer who received a 90-day jail sentence for breaking the jaw of a motorist that he was investigating (You can read the story here). Naturally, there are mixed opinions about the sentence. Was it appropriate? Was it too lenient? Was it too harsh?

In the world of sentencing there are few absolutes (exceptions exist for offences ...

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What you need to know before entering into a peace bond for a domestic assault charge

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Is it a good idea for a client to agree to enter into a peace bond in exchange for the withdrawal of a domestic assault charge?  Maybe.  Click here to learn more.

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The impact of social media on the criminal justice system

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I read an interesting article today about a man who was on trial for allegedly having committed a serious assault.  In his opinion, the trial was going in his favour.  Unfortunately, he decided to get on facebook and announce that he felt he was going to ‘get away with it’.  This post came to the attention of the prosecutor in the case, who was prepared to tender it into evidence.  The accused fellow then ...

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Eaton Centre Shooting Arrest. What Now?

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Christopher Husbands turned himself in this morning around 2:30 a.m. as a suspect in the Toronto Eaton Centre shooting that occurred over the weekend.  He has been charged with one count of first degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.  A case like this can take years before it is resolved in the courts.  So what happens in the interim?  Husbands will make his initial appearance in the Ontario Court of Justice.  As required by the Criminal Code of ...

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How important is motive?

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Proving motive in a criminal trial is not a requirement.  However, the concept of motive can be so powerful that to be able to prove it by either the Crown or the criminal defence can mean the difference between victory and defeat.  Read the article here.

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Over 80 Police Investigations Becoming More Effective

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Many of the arguments made in the defence of an over 80 charge involve scrutinizing the actions of the police.  Criminal defence lawyers will often argue that the police did not act with legal authority.  Often times, such arguments are made by criminal defence lawyers based on the untimeliness of police actions.  In other words, the police unnecessarily delayed taking the steps they were required to do so in a more timely fashion.  The police have now started to respond ...

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Using The Complainant’s DVD Statement At A Domestic Assault Trial

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In many instances of domestic assault, the case often turns on the testimony of the complainant as there is often little other evidence available to the Court.  In such cases, where the complainant has provided a videotaped statement to the police, the effective utilization of this statement at the domestic assault trial by the criminal defence lawyer may mean the difference between victory and defeat.  Read the article here.

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Drinking and Driving: The End of the ‘Careless Driving’ deal

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In some circumstances, when an accused person is facing a charge of impaired driving or over 80, it is possible to negotiate with the Crown for a plea to the lesser charge of ‘careless driving’.  This is typically so in circumstances where the blood alcohol of the person charged is alleged to have been only slightly over the legal limit.  However, now with the implementation of the Ignition Interlock Program in Ontario, this type of deal is coming to an ...

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Domestic Assault Charges and the PAR program

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It has now become standard practice throughout the criminal courts of Southern Ontario to offer an Early Intervention Program for many people facing a domestic assault charge.  For those courthouses that do offer such a program, each will typically have its own particular way of administering it and selecting eligible candidates.  In a nutshell, here is how it works:  If you have been screened for the Early Intervention Program, your case will be adjourned to a day of the month ...

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Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Absolute Discharge For Importing Khat

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In the recent decision of R v. Tina Maria DeSousa , the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a trial judge’s decision in granting an absolute discharge to a young woman who pleaded guilty to importing 34 kilograms of “khat” into Canada.  The estimated street value was $17,000.  There was a joint submission before the trial judge by lawyers from both sides recommending a conditional sentence (or house arrest).  The trial judge decided to undercut this position and, instead, granted Ms ...

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