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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog
Acumen Law Corporation > Blog (Page 8)

What we learned from Wilson

What we learned in Wilson

When we walked out of the Supreme Court of Canada in May we talked for a moment about how we got there. We became involved with the case after the BC Court of Appeal overturned the BC Supreme Court decision. So we came in late in the day and did the best we could with what we had. We wanted to make sure that we learned as much as we could from Wilson. And we learned a lot.[pullquote]We didn't trust the Government and we were right. When RoadSafetyBC received unsworn Report to Superintendent documents, they upheld the IRPs ignoring the...

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The Champions of IRP Defence

The Champions of IRP defence

When Immediate Roadside Prohibitions came out, one thing we did to ensure we were doing the best job possible was we requested copies of every successful decision each month. We wrote to the BC Government for disclosure of copies of all of the successful decisions.[pullquote]Most IRPs that are lifted on review are cases where Acumen Law was the firm handling the case.[/pullquote] The reason we wanted copies of the decisions was because we wanted to see if anyone else was coming up with creative arguments and of course we wanted the decisions for precedent value. As we reviewed the disclosure there...

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Deleted emails and the BC Government

BC Government deleted emails

This week BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released a scathing report about a widespread problem with BC Government employees deleting emails, rather than responding to Freedom of Information Act requests for which those emails would be considered responsive.[pullquote]It makes no sense for a police officer, who would have active and ongoing investigations covered in his email inbox, to have deleted everything all of a sudden. [/pullquote] When we read the report, we began to feel a very familiar sensation. What she was describing sounded like something we have experienced on a very regular basis when dealing with BC Government Agencies, particularly...

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The police, the evidence and the forensic analysis of a DUI case

We explained in an earlier video that the police are special witnesses in that they have been trained to collect evidence, record evidence and present evidence. What we do as impaired driving defence lawyers is we conduct a forensic analysis of the evidence. We obtain the police reports, photos, notes and when possible video. We go over it, we pick it apart and we dig. If you watch any of the forensic tv shows, you'll usually see the police trying to piece together something from evidence they locate. In impaired driving cases, the police are usually the eye witnesses to the evidence....

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Reverberations of the SCOC decisions

SCOC decisions

Some version of the IRP law will remain in place in BC, at least for the next few years. That's the obvious conclusion from the Supreme Court of Canada decisions and the decision in Bro.[pullquote]Without a doubt aspects of the IRP constitutional challenges could have been handled better. That's not to say that anyone did a poor job.[/pullquote] For us we've spent the last 10 days dealing with the reverberations of the SCOC decisions. On a personal level there is the emotional commitment to the ongoing challenges to the IRP scheme. Operating with the knowledge that two levels of court had...

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BC drunk driving laws will continue to be battled in court

We will fight these cases in court says Doroshenko

Drunk driving charges in British Columbia are likely to continue to be battled in court, despite a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, say lawyers familiar with the case.[pullquote]"This spin that they've had all along that this is the toughest drunk driving law in the country is absolute garbage," said Doroshenko.[/pullquote] Earlier this year, RCMP in Tofino and Vernon calibrated their breathalyzers with the wrong gas, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request. As a result, 51 drivers had their suspensions reversed. Lawyers worry there could be others who get punished, even though they're not actually impaired. "You're...

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Province cancels dozens of IRPs due to RCMP mistakes

Province cancels IRPs

The provincial government has quietly cancelled over 70 roadside suspensions after learning RCMP had been using incorrect gas to calibrate their breathalyzers. It’s policy that they use certified gas and they were not.[pullquote]The government’s been doing everything to keep this in the can,” he tells us. [/pullquote] These details were obtained through a Freedom of Information request. It’s 70 pages of correspondence between staff with the Ministry of Justice and the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, discussing how they will tell the people affected and what the minister should say to the media if asked. It includes a copy of the letter sent to 39 drivers...

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Not what you wanted – SCC rules on IRPs

Not what you wanted

The decision came down early this morning and within minutes it hit the news. The bottom line is that nothing changes for people who were issued an IRP between June 15, 2012 and today. The court has given the rubber stamp to the status quo. SCC rules on IRPs The first version of the IRP scheme is still unconstitutional. The decision confirmed that finding, originally held by the BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal. No change there. The first version of the IRP scheme was unconstitutional, but that's not the version in effect today. The lawyers for the drivers had hoped...

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General to specific: defective breathalyzer update

General to the specific

In the next few hours we'll get a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada in Goodwin/Sivia and Wilson. It's going to be an interesting day. Defective breathalyzer update In the meantime, we need to tell you about the decision we received Thursday in the judicial reviews we did for two clients who blew into breathalyzers in the defective range. These are the cases we advanced because of the systematic defects Paul identified in a certain range of ASDs purchased in the summer of 2010. Our argument in court was that the adjudicator was wrong in concluding that Paul’s affidavit (which many of...

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