Vancouver Criminal Law

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Quick IRP Update

Some recent developments on the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) front. If you have been following closely, you may know that Sivia, for whom the leading case is named, was in fact an ASD refusal allegation. So although this person is commonly referred to as having been successful in the Court challenge, in fact they were not because the decision only found "Fail" scenarios to be a violation of the Charter. We were aware that Sivia did not have much of an argument on the merits of the case, so it was just a matter of time until this petition was...

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Unintentionally Encouraging Charter Violations

Chad Kroeger's case had the effect of encouraging charter violations

Chad Kroeger's over .08 case was a turning point for the police. Like so many before him, Mr. Kroeger (or Turton if you prefer) drank too much one night before driving his Lamborghini through Surrey. He was pulled over by the RCMP and ultimately he provided breath samples in excess of the legal limit.[pullquote]It was a Charter violation -- an unreasonable search and seizure. A search not authorized by law is by definition unreasonable. But what of it?[/pullquote] Whatever you may think of Mr. Kroeger, he is known as a successful businessman and music producer. But in the area of drinking-driving...

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When the Charter Lets You Down

VPD search without a warrant -- find reason later

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is great -- if the police kick down your door on a whim without a warrant and then refuse to let you call a lawyer, the plastic bag of cannabis they stumble upon in your cupboard will not be evidence considered by the Court to prove any charge against you. You may feel like a victim of crime, but at least you are not going to jail. This is the upside of the Charter. In egregious cases you have a very good chance of getting a remedy, i.e. an acquittal because the Court refuses...

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Celebrate the Charter of Rights

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Rights. Three decades ago on a windy, rainy day Queen Elizabeth, Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretien, along with some hangers on and dignitaries, got together in a ceremony to sign the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and patriate (make Canadian) the Constitution. The ceremony was outside. When there was a break in the rain, they pulled everyone on stage. Queen Elizabeth overheard Jean Chretien uttering profanities in French when a pen malfunctioned. They got the papers signed, finished everything up and then it started to rain. Jean Chretien, aside from having been a good...

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Undermining the Charter of Rights

Undermining the Charter of Rights

It is the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and as far as we are concerned there should be a national holiday. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms governs all sorts of relationships we have with governments and police. It informs our sense of fairness and the very idea of what we understand Canada to be. We all get a day off for Victoria Day, to celebrate something to do with a British monarch who has been dead for over 100 years and who facilitated the subjugation of peoples around the world by way of nationalistic ethnocentric...

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Exclusion of Evidence

The Charter of Rights guarantees that every person has a series of significant rights upon arrest or detention. You have the right to be free from arbitrary detention. You have the right to be advised of the reasons for detention. You have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. You have the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure. And above all, you have the right to life, liberty, and security of the person. These rights are constitutionally entrenched in sections 7 through 10 of the Charter. Sections 7 through 10 are the most frequently litigated sections...

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Put It to the Voters

Put the IRP scheme to the voters in the BC election

Gordon Campbell was forced out by his own party in response to the public backlash that followed the botched introduction of the HST. The main complaint people had was that the BCLiberals did not disclose until after that last provincial election any plans to harmonize the sales tax. The anger against the HST was not justified, but even those who were indifferent about the tax were understandably pissed off about the fact that the BCLiberals were silent about it in the election campaign. The idea of a democracy is that regular citizens with similar ideas can get together, form parties, explain clearly...

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IRP Scheme Update

IRP Lawyers in Vancouver BC the IRP resource center

With the exception of the handful of people who contacted us in the few days before the Easter long weekend, all of our clients who were given 90-day Fail IRPs are back on the road without the Interlock requirement. Even clients who had the Interlock already installed have now had it removed. If you still have an Interlock due to a 90-day Fail IRP, call Sarah and she will arrange for the requirement to be lifted. We expect that very soon the Government will introduce their legislative fix to bring back the scheme. They are running out of time in this...

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No Point to .05

No Point to .05

When the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme was introduced, the Government trumpeted the new .05% limit as an extraordinary advancement in dealing with drinking and driving in BC. For decades the law had been that you could be subject to a 24-hour prohibition if you were in the "Warn" range (theoretically .05-.08%). The new law would up the punishment to a minimum 72 hour driving prohibition (3-day prohibition for Warn). The ostensible concern was that a 24-hour driving prohibition was not sufficient to deter people from driving in the Warn range. So the Government came up with a new panoply of confusing...

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What Will the New Government Do?

What wil the new Government do?

In just over a year we will have an election in British Columbia, and if voters follow through on their current trajectory, the BCLiberals will lose power. In fact, it may end in a Kim Campbell style wipe out for the governing party. So it makes sense that people are starting to look for the door. What happens when a government changes is that the people who had power find themselves often unemployed and without skills to find employment. Those who were hired to work directly for the elected representatives are also out looking for work. And an entire new group...

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