Vancouver Criminal Law


Vancouver: 604 685 8889
Richmond: 604 370 3050
Surrey: 604 593 8580
Victoria: 250 384 0100
Nanaimo: 250 754 9558
Kelowna: 250 860 2766
Kamloops: 250 372 3448
Fort McMurray: 780 750 7588
Prince George: 250 564 8835



Copyright 2018 Acumen Law Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.

Call 24 Hrs

604 685 8889

Call Us For Free Consultation





Roadside Breath Tests Tainted by Police Negligence


One of our lawyers is a member of the California DUI Lawyer's Association, so we follow the goings on with drinking/driving law in the Golden State. The authorities there are now dealing with revelations of roadside breath tests tainted by improper calibration. Although much of the law is different, there are a few similarities. There is a movement to deciding matters with government tribunals. And there are always problems with breath-testing machines. Most recently the defence lawyers in San Fransisco revealed that the police had not been calibrating their Alco-Sensor IV roadside breath testers. This is a problem our office has...

Continue reading

Tribunalization – Ousting the Courts

The BC Government wants to take matters from the court and give them to tribunals

The SPCA is angry at the Government. Their particular concern is that the Government is establishing a tribunal to deal with allegations under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, rather than having the matters dealt with in court. You can read their entire statement here, but this is an important excerpt: The BC SPCA says the proposed changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, introduced by the government today in Bill 24, have no benefits for animals in B.C. “We are very disappointed to see these amendments, which we believe will make it more difficult for the BC SPCA...

Continue reading

Booze and Privatization

In the 2012 budget announcement Finance Minister Kevin Falcon indicated that the Government would privatize the liquor distribution warehouses in BC. The Government can thereby receive a one-time windfall in the sale of these assets and it no longer needs to manage the distribution of liquor to stores in BC. Whether you agree with this is largely an issue of ideology. It appears the process may be tainted by virtue of the involvement of lobbyists who donated money toward the Premier's campaign to lead the BCLiberal Party. You can read about that here. We suspect that this is the first step to...

Continue reading

Kill the Breathalyzer

Kill the breathalyzer in BC

The Alco-Sensor IV, which is the roadside breathalyzer that we use in BC, is a sturdy, nicely-designed device that is well suited for its purpose, i.e. to screen drivers to determine who should be subject to breath tests on an evidentiary breath tester. One of the reasons that they should never be used to justify punishing people is that they tend to get dropped regularly. The usual mistake is to leave it on the roof or trunk lid of a police cruiser. When the officer hears it tumble off the car, there is a quick stop to retrieve the device. If...

Continue reading

You Should Now Have Your License Back

If you received a 90-day IRP for blowing Fail, then there is no reason for you not to have your license back pending the outcome of the lead case that is still before the Court. The BC Government is planning to introduce legislation soon to address the Court decision that ruled that the IRP scheme violates the Charter of Rights. We should see what they have up their sleeve in the next few weeks. But as it stands, the entire case appears headed to the Court of Appeal so it may take months for this to be sorted out. In the meantime,...

Continue reading

A Simple Plan

A simple plan but not a good plan

It started off with a simple plan -- take minor drunk driving cases out of court and instead rehabilitate the offenders. This makes sense. As we have discussed, for most non-violent crimes, community based measures, such as diversion to Alternative Measures, are very effective in deterring people from offending again. With respect to impaired driving there may be an alcohol problem that needs to be addressed, but rarely is a criminal conviction the best way to ensure that the person does not repeat the behaviour. This was the core idea that was the seed of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme. The focus...

Continue reading

Any Suggestions?

Any suggestions for a drinking solution

Imagine for a moment that you are the provincial government. You have a serious problem that you must address: a significant number of people continue to drive while intoxicated. How do you deal with it? What's your drinking solution? In addition you have a number of confounding and frustrating impediments. The federal government is responsible for determining what is a criminal offence and writing the criminal law. But you, as the provincial government, must pay for the investigation, the prosecution and the courts. And it seems no matter how much effort you put into dealing with the problem, drinking and driving persists...

Continue reading

Non-Violent Crime

Non-violent crime - Should you get a criminal record?

As criminal lawyers we deal with a variety of criminal offences. Some of our clients are charged with violent offences, like assault. Many of our clients, however, are charged with a non-violent crime such as theft, break and enter, mischief and lying to ICBC. This is not surprising, considering 79% of crimes in 2010 were non-violent.  Almost 60% of non-violent offences were either theft under $5000, break and enter, or mischief. The vast majority (over 98%) of our clients charged with a non-violent crime avoid a criminal record. We are often successful in having these charges resolved quietly in one way...

Continue reading

Police Powers

BC Police powers are expanding

The police want powers. They want the power to choose whether a person is charged and what the charges should be. They want the authority to get access to your internet usage on demand without first getting a warrant. They want to use the photos in ICBC's database to try and match up names to faces from the Vancouver riot without first obtaining a warrant. They want the power to issue you a lengthy Immediate Roadside Prohibition that starts long before you get a hearing. We previously discussed the issue of police bungling. Simply put, the police make plenty of mistakes,...

Continue reading

The Application of the Charter to ADP and IRP Hearings

Does the Charter apply at IRP hearings?

Over the last six months we developed a unique argument that will likely change the rules concerning ADP and IRP hearings conducted at the OSMV tribunal. This argument was used as part of one of our IRP appeals. Lawyers for the government considered our written argument and chose not to oppose us concerning this argument on an IRP Supreme Court review. Rather than take the case to court (and perhaps risk a decision that would then open the doors to further litigation) they agreed that we were right in that particular case and instructed the OSMV to grant our client a...

Continue reading