Vancouver Criminal Law

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Papers the Police Give You

Paper the police give you

If you are arrested for a drunk driving offence in British Columbia, you normally walk out the police station with a small pile of papers. Many people don't want to know what the papers say. Most important at that moment is to get home, gets some sleep, have a shower and find something to eat. A moment of clarity may come in the shower. This is the point when most people conclude " I need to get a lawyer to look at this."  An hour later most people dig out their papers, look them over and then give us a call. Why...

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We Have Some Questions

Compelling government offices to disclose documents is part of our regular course of business. After all, we are criminal lawyers. So Freedom of Information requests are nothing new to us. Back in 2000, when Ujjal Dosanjh was Premier, we obtained information about how many new cars were failing Aircare. It turns out, cars 10 years and newer almost never fail Aircare, so there was no point in taking them for testing. On the Friday when the Government gave us the information, they diverted the story by announcing that you would only need to have your car tested every 2 years if...

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Protecting You from Your Own Free Will

Protecting you from your own free will

There is nothing better than being an adult in a free country like Canada. You can go hiking in bear country, sledding in risky avalanche zones, you can try your hand at whitewater kayaking, you can pierce any piece of flesh, you can drink yourself into a coma or eat enough hot dogs to give yourself a coronary. All of these things you can do, and the list is infinite, because you are free and can decide what to do with your body. You are in charge of You. That is what it means to be free. That is what...

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A Decision in 21 Days or Your Pizza Is Free

IRP decisions can be rendered whenever the Government wants

The limitation periods for IRPs, ADPs, 24-hour Prohibitions and Notice of Intent letters confound most people. What mystifies us is why the person subject to the prohibition should have such a short period to file for review. To us some of the time periods can only serve to disadvantage the applicant. And we wonder if this is the undeclared rational. Particularly with respect to IRPs, since the OSMV is not required in law to render a decision in 21 days. 24-Hour Prohibitions Take 24-hour prohibitions for example. If you receive one, you cannot have the matter reviewed before the 24 hours have...

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Public Advocacy

Lawyers working in the public interest

We are criminal lawyers so our job is to advocate for our clients. This we normally do in a quiet manner, working behind the scene to get the best results attainable for our clients while protecting their privacy. And we do our job very well. What is unusual for us is to advocate in the media or the public sphere concerning government policy. And of course, this became a large part of our firm's work in the last 2 years. If you have been following our blog, you know that we have concerns about the direction our province is going with...

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A Proper Breath Test (PBT)

Proper Breath Test in a BC DUI case

When you are stopped by the police at the roadside, they must not delay you unnecessarily. It is your constitutional right in Canada to not be arbitrarily detained by a police officer. If you are detained, you must be informed of the reason, i.e. that you are under investigation and the crime for which you are being investigated. And you must be told about your right to counsel, i.e. to contact a lawyer and get legal advice. If you are being investigated for impaired driving, all of these Charter rights are in play. When the police use an ASD, the hope...

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The Drunkometer

The Drunkometer

From the moment cars were invented, we had a problem with people driving drunk. Not long after someone invented the Drunkometer. Our ancestors were drinking alcohol long before recorded history. There is evidence that suggests humans were drinking 10,000 years ago, and probably long before that. The process of distilling to produce spirits such as vodka, scotch, etc. has been known for 2000 years, but until the 15th century nobody did it. There is evidence to suggest that for centuries in many regions of Europe, people drank beer all day long. And they were probably at some level of intoxication much...

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What Is the Right Tool?

The right tool

The feedback that we receive from our blog is inspiring. Mostly we get emails, but also phone calls and the odd thank-you on the street. We have over 130 postings. Most are about the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme, which merely reflects the fact that we have a lot to say about it (almost all of which is critical). If you received an IRP, then you understand. You are part of a community wherein you do not know the other members and have little by way of support from your community. But remember: there are at least 15,000 people who went through...

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Why you didn’t demand a second test

The Police in BC are still busily handing out 3, 7 and 30 day IRP driving prohibitions for blowing WARN on an ASD, as well as 90-day Prohibitions for alleged refusal. We are disputing these prohibitions and still actively looking for cases to add to our Supreme Court challenge of the legislation. Recently we asked a caller why he didn't demand a second test. It seemed that his "Warn" prohibition may have been as a result of a contaminated sample. He said that it was so confusing, he didn't come to the conclusion that there might be a problem until the...

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Rights That May Have Accrued

A few days ago we wrote about keeping track of the damage that you suffered from your 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition for Fail. Aside from the out-of-pocket expenses to the Government and the companies profiting from the IRP scheme, you may be able to receive compensation in the future for other losses. If, however, you have been sitting there suffering, and doing nothing about it, you may find yourself disappointed with the amount of compensation, if any, that you receive. Simply put, you have an obligation to mitigate your losses. You need to try to reduce the losses in whatever reasonable...

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