Vancouver Criminal Law


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Our 4/20 gift if you received a 24-hour driving prohibition

Our 4/20 gift: all 24-hour driving prohibition issued not at the roadside are now illegal

It's time to announce our gift for anyone who was served a 24-hour driving prohibition for drugs at a police detachment. This is something we've been working on for a long time, so pay attention. 24-hour driving prohibitions for drugs are issued pursuant to section 215(3) of the Motor Vehicle Act. The section reads as follows: (3) A peace officer may, at any time or place on a highway or industrial road if the peace officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a driver's ability to drive a motor vehicle is affected by a drug, other than alcohol, (a)...

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If you get charged with smoking pot and driving this 4/20, you need to call us

Smoking Pot and Driving

The decriminalization of cannabis marijuana is just around the corner in Canada which means this 4/20 will be special to many Canadians as the final time they can celebrate the holiday illicitly. It also means police will be on high alert and you are more likely to get pulled over if they suspect you of drug-impaired driving. If you get caught smoking pot and driving this 4/20, you need to call us. The problems with roadside testing for marijuana impairment Despite the impending legalization of weed, the laws around what constitutes drug-impaired driving are still as hazy as Snoop Dogg’s dressing room....

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4/20: What You Need Know Before You Go


This year’s 4/20 cannabis celebration in Vancouver is shaping up to be one of the biggest on record. And with legalization on the horizon, interest in the event and the politics that accompany it is at an all time… high. Misinformation about marijuana laws and how they can affect you, even on 4/20 is abundant. We at Acumen Law Corporation wanted to write a handy guide to help you navigate the 4/20 cannabis celebration and your legal rights and obligations. Smoking Marijuana In Public Here’s the bad news: despite promises of legalization, it is still a criminal offence to possess marijuana in any...

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Defamatory libel: Canadians’ freedom of speech is under attack by a law older than Canada

Last week, an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail highlighted a worrying issue that threatens to undermine every Canadian’s freedom of expression. In the article, professor David Pritchard and assistant professor Lisa Taylor argue a little-known law known as defamatory libel is being used to treat libel as a criminal offence. Defamation is traditionally dealt with under civil proceedings but research they intend to publish apparently shows it has been used in 400 completed criminal prosecutions between 2000 and 2016. What is defamatory libel? The name itself is confusing. After all, defamation can be broken down into two categories: libel when...

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Guns — Firearms Amnesty

Once again the Canadian Government is changing firearms laws. It's hard to think of any area of federal jurisdiction where we see more dramatic swings in policy and legislation than at the federal level when it comes to firearms. When the Liberals are in power, we see the tightening of firearms laws. The Liberals introduced the wildly unpopular long-gun registry after the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre. When Harper's Conservatives were in power, we saw the abolition of the long-gun registry. The Conservatives also gave the final word in the classification of each type of firearm to Parliament. The Liberals, now back...

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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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