Vancouver Criminal Law


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How police investigate for marijuana impaired driving

A police officer has just stopped you for suspected marijuana-impaired driving. Perhaps the officer was tipped off by how you’re driving, or you had the windows rolled down and they smelled a whiff of pot. Either way, you’re now pulled over. What is likely to happen is the officer is going to then question you. They’ll ask how much marijuana you had consumed. How recently? Whether you have marijuana on you in the vehicle or on your person. As with most circumstances, we would advise you to use your right to remain silent, apart from providing your licence and insurance, stating your name and address if asked,...

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BC Government’s ICBC changes won’t save the insurer. Here’s why.

BC Government’s plan to save ICBC from financial doom has finally been revealed. It comes in the form of a $5,500 cap to minor injury pain and suffering claims. BC Attorney General David Eby says these soft-tissue injury minor claims are to blame for much of ICBC’s expensive payouts, and is one of the major reasons why the provincial insurer seems to be bleeding money. [pullquote]To us, this seems to be a way to discourage claimants from obtaining fair compensation.[/pullquote] Currently, pain and suffering damages for even minor injuries is unrestricted, meaning a claimant could potentially receive upwards of $350,000 for pain...

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BC’s new pot laws means bad news for ‘N’ drivers

Do you know a young driver who uses marijuana? The British Columbia government has finally announced its rules and regulations for non-medical marijuana, and it’s all bad news for Novice drivers. As with alcohol, the provincial government will use a zero tolerance approach for all Novice drivers. At its surface, this seems to make sense. But it's important to remember that how long marijuana remains in the body is much different from alcohol. The presence of marijuana can remain for days and even weeks within the body, unlike the hours required for alcohol to be fully absorbed. And if a Novice driver...

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Are party hosts liable for guests who drink drive?

drink drive

You’re hosting a Super Bowl party and your friends, like us, are drinking away their sorrows when the Patriots win again. Your friends leave and later you find out one of them was in a car accident. Months later, you're being sued by someone they injured because you let them drink and drive.  [pullquote]You could be held liable for the behaviour of your guests after they leave depending on the circumstances of what happens at your party[/pullquote] When hosting a party and serving alcohol, you enter into a situation where you have a duty of care for your guests. Legally, you can...

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Distracted driving enforcement is often questionable

In law, sometimes you’ll see cases where it seems almost baffling that a driver was punished for what seems like a very minor offence, or a mistaken case of a crime altogether. In our view, nowhere is this more evident than in the enforcement of BC’s legislation prohibiting the use of electronic devices while driving. The latest available traffic citation figures from ICBC suggest that up to 46,000 drivers in 2015 were penalized for allegedly using an electronic device behind the wheel. The vast majority just paid up, and many undoubtedly ended up serving lengthy driving prohibitions lasting months as a...

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ICBC and police exaggerate cellphone driving fatality numbers

Distracted driving. Sometimes it seems that's all we ever hear about these days from police, government and ICBC. We are told that there are thousands of drivers out there ripping around with their heads firmly buried in the electronic devices on their laps, causing chaos and countless injuries and deaths wherever they strike. [pullquote]...

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My employer is accusing me of theft — what happens now?


You put 30 years into working at a retail job. As you are preparing for your final years before retirement, suddenly, your employer is accusing you of theft and fires you. In a moment, your experience, pension plan, vacation time and benefits are all out the window. You have to find a new job, which could be much harder with a criminal record. You will likely get paid less and have to work longer. This is what happened to one Sears employee, who was fired on the allegation she stole trial cosmetics only two years before she planned to retire. [pullquote]The...

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Hit and Run: 5 things you need to know

hit and run

Being in a car accident is a terrifying experience. In moments of intense panic, you might be tempted to drive away as fast as you can. Maybe you observe the scene and think it's safe to go but still leave too quickly. Perhaps you don't talk to all of the people who saw the accident. If you're not careful, you could make the accident worse by unknowingly committing a hit and run or jeopardize your liability in a claim with ICBC. At Acumen Law Corporation, we've dealt with many criminal and civil hit and run cases. Here are the things we...

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Getting a stay on a 90-day IRP can be an uphill battle


You’ve just been handed a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. For the next three months you can’t drive, but you need your car to get to work. Not only do you get fined, but you now are facing loss of income because your job requires you to be mobile. Worse, you might not get that big promotion because of loss of reputation. Nightmare scenario: you could even be fired. [pullquote]“It’s very individualized. Getting a stay depends on how much harm a client is going to feel in their job. How much their reputation will be impacted, how much money they’ll lose.” - ...

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Drug Recognition Experts can allege you’re driving high when sober

drug recognition expert

It’s not just the grainy dash cam video that make “The Drug Whisperer” look like scenes out of a horror film. Getting arrested for a DUI under the claim you have marijuana in your system by a drug recognition expert, testing negative, and having to still fight the charges is a nightmare. It happened in the United States and it could happen in Canada.   "The Drug Whisperer" arrested at least five people with no traces of marijuana for DUIs   Earlier in 2017, 11Alive News chief investigator Brendan Keefe discovered drivers were being arrested for driving stoned despite drug tests showing no signs...

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