Vancouver Criminal Law


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Sonia Gill-Kahlon: new articling student to join Acumen Law Corporation

Sonia Gill-Kahlon articling student Acumen Law Corporation

Acumen Law Corporation is pleased to welcome a new articling student to its team. Sonia Gill-Kahlon will be joining us after she completes her J.D. at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. Before law school, Sonia obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C. Before she attended law school, Sonia gained experience in mental health through her work in the downtown eastside of Vancouver where she worked with women suffering from addiction and mental health issues. She also worked for Chilliwack Community Services assisting adults suffering from mental health illness, as well as...

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Acumen Law Corporation to welcome new articling student Sarah MacDonald

Acumen Law Corporation articling student Sarah MacDonald

Acumen Law Corporation is pleased to welcome a new articling student to its team. Sarah MacDonald will be joining our firm after she finishes law school at the University of Calgary. Before law school, Sarah studied for a BA (Hon) in philosophy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Sarah’s interest in law was sparked during her undergraduate degree when she took an introductory law course. Sarah took part in an exchange to Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, in Australia where she participated in the Innocence Project. The not-for-profit organization aims to exonerate wrongfully convicted people who might otherwise not have access...

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The fault standard in luring offences

Chatrooms online

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada published a major decision regarding the fault standard for the offence of “luring” a minor under Section 172.1 of the Criminal Code. The offence of “luring” prohibits the act of speaking with someone online who presents themselves as being younger than the age of consent with the goal of the communication being to have some kind of sexual encounter. The Crown needs to prove three things to achieve a conviction:   an intentional communication by means of telecommunication (phone or Internet); with a person who is, or who the accused believes is, under...

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Challenging a ‘failure to provide a breath sample’ IRP

If you are pulled over by a police officer or one approaches you immediately after driving, you must comply with any demand for a sample of breath. It is in your best interest to do so because there are defences available to you if you provide a sample but virtually none if you refuse. But what about if you comply and find yourself accused of failing to provide a valid sample? You could find yourself with a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP), facing the prospect of not being able to drive for three months. This can cause irreparable harm to your...

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Is information obtained from nightclub ID scanners an unfair invasion of privacy?

Nightclub scanners

Many nightclubs these days require visitors to undergo photo identification scanning before they can enter. This might include taking their picture, scanning their ID or both. These scans can be kept by the club for 24 hours and they are mainly used to stop unwanted people from getting in. But what about using this information to identify a person accused of a crime? Would this represent an unreasonable infringement on a person’s right to privacy? Section 8 of the Charter of Rights guarantees “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.” The truth is, however, people’s right...

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Acumen Lawyers Stand with Legal Aid Lawyers

Acumen Law is offering Legal advice to Legal Aid Lawyers

The majority of services provided by our office do not receive coverage by Legal Aid. First-time impaired driving cases, driving while prohibited charges, Immediate Roadside Prohibitions, traffic tickets, and ICBC breach investigations, to name a few are not generally covered by Legal Aid in BC. And so the lawyers in our office do not take legal aid referrals. But that does not mean that we do not stand with the legal aid lawyers in their attempts to create a fully-funded and robust legal aid system in this province. We support them. Part of our ethos at Acumen Law is to support access to...

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Sign up for drug recognition testing webinar

man at laptop preparing to sign in for webinar on drug recognition testing by kyla lee

There is still time to register for a webinar about new testing methods for drug-impaired driving. Kyla Lee, of Acumen Law, will host Drug Recognition Testing: Criminal & Civil Case Considerations on March 4 for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC. New testing methods to evaluate impairment were introduced alongside the legalization of cannabis. The reality is we are going to see more and more drug-impaired driving cases both at criminal and civil trials. This online talk is aimed at providing both civil and criminal lawyers with a better understanding of these methods, including the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program. The (DRE)...

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Lawyer told me not to talk to you

What’s in a phrase? Sometimes quite a bit. There are phrases we use every day to convey a whole package of information with a few simple words. Did that go over your head? Perhaps the cat got your tongue? Usually such phrases containing metaphors may be subject to confusion. Still, they have a lot of value in speech and writing because they convey an image, they can be used in various circumstances and they’re colourful. Do you agree with me? Are you drinking the Kool-Aide? Sometimes you need to be abundantly clear and no clichéd phrase will accomplish what you need. We often...

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It slices, it dices, it makes small piles and then rejects evidence

Road Block Surrey

One perpetual complaint we have with the process at RoadSafetyBC is the manner in which they weigh evidence. If you receive an Immediate Roadside Prohibition or Administrative Driving Prohibition (IRP or ADP) your appeal is held before a delegate of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The problem with the process is that findings of fact are made which often can't be reconciled with the evidence. In these cases, we often appeal to the BC Supreme Court and if necessary to the Court of Appeal. Kyla Lee has appealed more IRP cases than any lawyer in the province. Back when the...

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RoadsafetyBC’s Delays in Immediate Roadside Prohibition Cases Are Causing a Rift Between Tow Yards and Drivers

When we’ve talked about delay to Immediate Roadside Prohibition cases before, generally we’ve been concerned with the delay in rendering decisions. Practices employed by RoadSafetyBC have historically led to backlogs of thousands of Immediate Roadside Prohibition review decisions. In some circumstances, drivers waited more than two years for decisions exonerating them from their IRPs. But now the delay appears to have been solved. Or at least, on its face it seems that the backlogs are covered and there is no longer any unacceptable delay to rendering decisions. However, that does not mean the delay is gone. Instead, it appears from information our...

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