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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 10)

‘Unbelievable’: parents of slain cyclist outraged accused killer not criminally charged

Family members of a cyclist who was killed in Richmond last year are outraged after learning the driver who allegedly ran him down won’t face serious charges. “I was very confident that he would be criminally charged,” said Lianne Dean, whose son was six cyclists who were struck head-on while riding on River Road last November. Thirty-three-year-old Brad Dean died, while two other riders were seriously injured. Lianne Dean said investigators told her criminal charges were recommended to Crown. But Crown prosecutors charged Michael Wing Sing Fan — who was allegedly behind the wheel — with driving without care and attention, a non-criminal charge...

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Drugs and Foreign Evidence: Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t

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Welcome to Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn't! This week, we talk about how the courts should deal with evidence obtained OUTSIDE of Canada, when the prosecution takes place IN Canada. Acumen Law Corporation lawyer Kyla Lee gives her take on a made-in-Canada court case each week, and discusses why these cases should have been heard by Canada's highest court: the Supreme Court of Canada.     Drugs and Foreign Evidence Today, we're going to talk about the case of Jeremy Stark. Mr Stark and his associate Mr. Mehan were convicted at trial of trafficking cocaine into the...

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Loved ones of Vancouver hit-and-run victim still waiting to see justice

The family and friends of a man killed in a Vancouver hit-and-run last year are still waiting for someone to be held accountable. Ryan Barron was struck by a car while skateboarding along Heather Street in the early morning hours of April 17, 2016. The 30-year-old was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him,” said Ian Dummer, a friend and bandmate. “He means a lot to a lot of people." Days after Barron was killed, a badly damaged 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer was seized from a home in East...

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The Lost Evidence: Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t

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Welcome to Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn't! This week, we talk about how the courts should deal with issues of "lost evidence" in criminal cases. Acumen Law Corporation lawyer Kyla Lee gives her take on a made-in-Canada court case each week, and discusses why these cases should have been heard by Canada's highest court: the Supreme Court of Canada.     The Lost Evidence Anita Marianne Dunkers, Between 2007 and 2010 it was allege that Ms. Dunkers stole over $200,000 from a charity she was working at. By the time the investigation was concluded and the case...

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Good intentions for sexual-assault victims leads to unequal justice for accused under Bill C-51

Stories of sexual assault are dominating the media right now. Between the Harvey Weinstein allegations and the #MeToo campaign, survivors of sexual violence are banding together and speaking up. They are doing so, in part, in hopes of shattering the culture of silence that has allowed these injustices to go on for far too long. Many factors contribute to the proliferation of sexual violence. One of which is the perception that victims cannot properly access justice through our existing criminal justice system. In an attempt to address this, our federal government has introduced amendments to the Criminal Code. These amendments are embodied...

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When everyone’s a fraudster: why ICBC would rather not pay you

ICBC fraud

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is utterly convinced that up to 20% of insurance claims contain an element of fraud or exaggeration. They actually believe that up to $600 million per year in expense is being spent on paying fraudulent claims; and partly as a result of that, ICBC spends more than $300 million per year in lawyers suing people and defending against claims when it denies coverage to people it thinks are committing fraud. When you’re spending that much money countering this boogeyman of fraud, everyone starts looking like a fraudster. It’s a bit odd, because ICBC doesn’t actually...

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Proposed legal limits for drug-using drivers likely to be challenged: criminal lawyer

The federal government released a draft of its planned legal limits for drivers under the influence of drugs, but criminal lawyer Kyla Lee has doubts about how well the legislation will hold up against constitutional challenges. “I don’t think this law as it’s currently drafted is going to look anything like what it looks like when the courts have whittled it away,” says Lee, who practises at Acumen Law Corp. in Vancouver. “There’s going to be so many challenges to this; it’s going to tie up the courts, it’s going to be expensive.” The Blood Drug Concentration Regulations, posted Oct. 14, come as...

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No choice but to drive drunk. Is that a DUI defence?

No choice but to drive drunk

Are there any circumstances where you have no choice but to drive drunk? If you ask a police officer, chances are that, at least according to them, there are no circumstances where you’d have no choice but to drive drunk. But let’s say your sober, designated driver suddenly had an acute illness – a heart attack – while driving. Even though you’re impaired, you’d be forced to take the wheel in this scenario to prevent a crash. Some scenarios are less obvious. What if, during the middle of a drinking session, a friend fell and you had no other alternative...

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Government releases legal limits for drugged driving but can’t say how much pot is too much

The federal government has released a draft of its planned drug concentration levels but admits the new rules provide no guidance on how much marijuana it would take to push a driver over the legal limit. "It should be noted that THC is a more complex molecule than alcohol and the science is unable to provide general guidance to drivers about how much cannabis can be consumed before it is unsafe to drive or before the proposed levels would be exceeded," an analysis statement released with the draft regulations said. The government also says that it cannot provide drivers any guidance as...

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Grabbing a jacket from your car outside the pub? May as well be driving

Smoking in a car

If it wasn’t clear that BC’s impaired driving laws are overly restrictive, the courts have determined that you aren’t even allowed to grab an item from a car after a few drinks. So did you arrive at the bar in the late afternoon and now it’s getting chilly after dark? Better wait until you’re sober before you grab that jacket you left in the car. Forgot the cigarettes in the cup holder, too? Well, unless you want to risk an Immediate Roadside Prohibition for impaired cigarette-grabbing, it’s probably best to leave them alone. Oh, what if you forgot your wallet...

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