Vancouver Criminal Law


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A young man killed himself

Very sad for the Haida

The people of Haida Gwaii are tortured by sorrow and are grieving beyond words this evening because a young man killed himself. On October 18th, this young man hung himself here in Vancouver. The young man is a member of the Haida people. My understanding is that he lived much of his life in Old Massett. Speaking with some of his friends I was told that he was an outgoing, sensitive, jovial and thoughtful young man. He was very social. He played basketball and loved the game. He was devoted to the Haida Nation. Apparently he was working and studying in Vancouver....

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IRP – disproportional punishment

Get and IRP, get eaten by a bear

Attempting to explain the deficiencies of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme is a daunting task unless you're speaking to a person who has been through the IRP process. People who have had an IRP just get it. Defence lawyers, many of whom gave up in the face of the IRP scheme, know just what we're taking about. When you tell people about the many devastating malfunctions of roadside breathalyzers, they get a glazed look on their face. When you speak of the substandard (grossly substandard) review process, they assume that you're just a whiner. Once you get an IRP, however, it all...

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Go arrest some real drunk drivers!

Catch Some Real Drunk Drivers!

Here is some free legal advice: if the police detain you for drinking and driving, don't tell them to go arrest some real drunk drivers. Variations on that phrase are also not advisable, such as "go arrest some real criminals." And it's best never to mention doughnuts. We say this because from time to time we see this in DUI police reports and it's never a good thing. First of all, criticizing the police is dangerous particularly on a dark lonely road where they're holding a tazer and writing down their version of the evidence. Secondly, any variation on any of...

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Predicting the outcome of a case

Predicting the outcome of a case

We're pretty good at predicting the outcome of a case, particularly drunk driving cases, but it's not always a rewarding skill. When we defend IRPs, we get the disclosure first to determine what the defences are before we advise our clients. Usually we can then tell our clients the probable outcome. Occasionally we are contacted by potential clients who first met with another lawyer who looked at the disclosure and told them they would lose. Then we take the case and succeed with an argument nobody had even thought of yet. Nevertheless, predicting the outcome of a case has its downsides. Take,...

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IRP defences – we know they exist

IRP defences

The Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme was designed so there would be no defences to an IRP. That should come as no surprise. The Government didn't write the law with fairness as a priority. It came infused with blind faith in the police. And even with several dozen court decisions making clear that they need to be fair, they continue to take the position that it's okay for innocent people to end up stuck with IRPs because, in their view, the ends justify the means. Still, confronted with the simple fact that innocent people do receive IRPs and punishing innocent people...

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IRP 2.0 Charter decision: Bro v. The Superintendent

When your carriage turns into a pumpkin

The BC Supreme Court rendered its decision Monday with respect to whether the second version of the IRP scheme adequately addresses the concerns in Sivia v. The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. We participated in this Charter challenge, although we were in an unusual position because our client, regardless of the Charter challenge, will succeed on the re-hearing due to the merits of the particular case. So for us it was an intellectual exercise. Moreover, we were of the view that, two years into IRP 2.0, we needed the constitutional status of the law to be made clear. And now it...

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Cross your fingers for some IRP news

We are always thinking positive

You never know what the future holds. Of course, we try to maintain a positive outlook which is not always easy as an IRP lawyer. But we've got our fingers crossed for some IRP news. Over the years our attitude and outlook has improved because we made a lot of headway in our ongoing fight against the IRP laws. These days we're feeling pretty good. Sometimes we try to predict the future. As lawyers we do this all of the time. What surprises us is how often we have accurately predicted the future. Looking back at comments we've made here on our...

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The accused: drunk driving lawyer in BC

Drunk driving lawyer in bc

We stand accused. In fact, we're guilty. We were reminded the other day that the reason we have the IRP scheme is the drunk driving lawyer in BC. And we're not just talking about any one of us in particular or the lawyers in our office per se, but the particular subspecies and members of that group. We're talking about the class or type of lawyers who defend drunk driving charges. If it were not for the drunk driving lawyer in BC, we would not have Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. That is true. Allow us to explain. In British Columbia there are...

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IRP version 1 – important decision on adjourned IRP hearings

Version 1 IRP Important Decision

The BC Supreme Court rendered a decision today that we've been waiting for concerning old Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. This affects anyone who had an IRP under version 1, where the hearing took place after June 30, 2012. This will be good news for a number of people. The important decision on adjourned IRP hearings confirms what we argued in each of these cases: the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles (now RoadSafetyBC) had no jurisdiction to conduct hearings under IRP scheme version 1 after June 30, 2012. Some background: The first version of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition law was ruled unconstitutional with regards to...

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