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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 16)

Strategic appeals in IRP cases

Strategic appeals

We've had some tremendous ups and down in the last few months, particularly with respect to strategic appeals. We've received decisions from BC Supreme Court that appeared on the face to be a loss, but that got us exactly what we hoped with respect to our ability to appeal IRPs at the RoadSafetyBC hearing stage. We've received decisions that appear to be glorious precedent-setting successes but nevertheless change very little because they are confined to their facts.[pullquote]Having a number of lawyers working in concert, discussing cases, sharing information about police forces, collecting vast amounts of inside information and actually teaching...

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B.C. court eases rules for appealing roadside suspensions

Immediate Roadside Prohibition specialist Kyla Lee

Court says B.C. superintendent of motor vehicle has the power to consider new evidence Read more: The B.C. Liberal government’s much-ballyhooed, tough-as-nails approach to drunk driving has again run afoul of the B.C. Supreme Court. In a 29-page decision, Justice Peter Voith sharply scolded the superintendent of motor vehicles for wrongly interpreting the law to prohibit drivers from introducing fresh evidence during an appeal of an immediate roadside prohibition. “Let us assume, for the moment, that the new evidence secured by the petitioner unequivocally established that the approved screening device used to secure a breath sample from him had been defective,” he said....

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New evidence in an old IRP case

New evidence in an IRP case

One thing that has always bothered us about the Immediate Roadside Prohibition legislation is the fact that the timelines are too short to be able to mount a proper defence. The Application for Review must be filed within seven days, and there are no extensions. The decision must be rendered within twenty one days of the date you were pulled over, except if the Superintendent extends the time period. And in June, RoadSafetyBC unilaterally changed its policies so that after the hearing had ended, no more submissions could be provided. Even when they granted themselves long extensions of the time to...

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The numbers speak for themselves

The numbers speak for themselves

A lot of people who phone our office are, understandably, concerned about getting the best lawyer for their IRP review. They want to know what the success rate is, and who is the best at defending IRP cases. The reality is that these are tough questions to answer. When we are wondering about who the best lawyer to defend an IRP case is, we look to the information that can be verified. The numbers speak for themselves.[pullquote]It’s one thing to talk the talk, and to have the shiny toys. It’s another thing entirely to be able to present a convincing and...

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Update for IRPs outside the 7 days

7-days IRP

Today we received the decision in our challenges to RoadSafetyBC’s policy decision not to follow the Segers decision, and not to grant extensions when the 7-days are up to apply for review of a 90-day IRP. You can find the decision here.[pullquote]The judge was in the unpleasant position of being able to see an obvious unfairness perpetuated by a government and feeling bound by legal constraints causing her to be unable to do anything about it. [/pullquote] In short: the challenge was unsuccessful. If you miss your seven days, that’s it. For now. But why? Arguments on the 7-day extensions There were several arguments...

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The review process is far from perfect

The RoadSafetyBC review process is far from perfect

You may remember our blog posts about the decision in Kenyon when it was first released: A good decision and Look at the evidence, then decide. We pointed out that the Government was very upset about the Kenyon case and its implications. So when we learned that Kenyon had been appealed, we weren’t surprised. Not one bit. You may also remember that the Government’s tactic all along has been to appeal almost every successful judicial review decision.[pullquote]It appears that the Court of Appeal saw through the Government’s end-run around fairness and objectivity in the review process[/pullquote] The Kenyon decision was appealed along...

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Free the weed, hammer the drivers?

Free the Weed, Hammer the Drivers?

With the election of Justin Trudeau, the legalization of marijuana in Canada is looking less like a pipe dream and more like a reality. But getting there won't be easy and there will be many variables and factors to work out over time. For instance, if marijuana is legalized, the issue of marijuana-impaired driving is one that will need to be addressed. We have already seen Colorado and Washington struggle with this issue. So how would BC cope? If we free the weed, will we hammer the drivers? Where will we draw the line?[pullquote] Will the provincial government want to go...

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Justice – swift, severe, and all in 30 minutes or less

Justice - swift, severe at the OSMV

We’ve written before about some of the ways that RoadSafetyBC’s tribunal impedes access to justice. The seven-day time limit to file for review of the IRP (with currently no opportunity for an extension) is a good example of this. Or the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles recent decision to no longer allow for supplemental submissions after the close of the hearing, even if it takes them two years to render your decision.[pullquote]But what happens if you cannot fit your submissions in to 30 minutes? What if you have a complex, technical, scientific and legal argument...

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What it’s like to win an IRP?

What it's like to win an IRP

In a recent blog post, we celebrated our success as the Champions of IRP Defence. We’ve earned that title. Recent statistics show that in some months we succeed in more IRP review hearings than all other BC law offices and self-represented individuals COMBINED. (freaky) [pullquote]We have heard everything from screams of joy, to tears, to public celebrations, to shocked silence and the phone hitting the floor. [/pullquote] We are clearly very serious about winning, and we love our jobs. So we thought it might be fun to share with you what it’s like to win an IRP. We want to win an IRP for...

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The fine print on BC DUI driving suspensions

The fine print on IRP DUI suspensions

When we reviewed the documents we recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests we got pretty angry. Usually we're angry because we see that the BC Government seems to go through extreme machinations to avoid giving us the documents that we request concerning BC DUI driving suspensions. But this time we were angry about something else.[pullquote]The Government didn't create the IRP scheme to help people get their IRP revoked.[/pullquote] Two recent FOIs dealt with two different issues but they shed light on a third issue. In one package of documents we could count up and see how many Immediate...

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