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Toronto Crimes & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Report shows rate of crime down in Toronto, throughout nation

Each day, people throughout the nation face criminal charges for activities authorities deem to be against the law. While based on media reports, it may seem as though crime is a big problem throughout Canada, data recently released regarding this matter shows a different result. The crime data was released by Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada undertakes an analysis of crime in the country each year. Looking at the records of crimes that were committed, it creates a crime severity index. The index, which gives more weight to homicide and other crimes considered to be more serious, breaks down the country into geographic regions, and provides information regarding crimes per capita.

Surrendering to police is not an admission of guilt

The prevalence of computers throughout the Toronto area has created crimes that at one time did not exist. While there are multiple crimes that could involve the use of a computer, one realm in which they have had a big impact is sex crimes. A 24-year-old man was recently arrested and charged with several sex crimes in conjunction with receiving photos and videos of teen girls via the computer.

Specifically, the man is charged with:

  • Two counts of luring a child under 16
  • Three counts of counselling to commit the offence of making child pornography
  • Two counts of making child pornography
  • Two counts of possession child pornography
  • Two counts of extortion.

Can cultural differences be considered in criminal sentences?

When someone is convicted of a crime in the province of Ontario, depending on the thing they are found guilty of, the penalties can be severe. This is not always the case however and for various reasons judges may order a sentence that is lighter than what one would expect. One such sentence was recently overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Drunk driving arrests happen to people of all backgrounds

Drunk driving allegations are something that virtually anyone who drives after consuming alcohol could find that they are facing. Old or young, rich or poor, people from all walks of life could be pulled over and arrested for the crime. This is illustrated in the recent arrest of NHL star Ryan O’Reilly.

The 24-year-old hockey player was arrested earlier this month after crashing his vintage pickup into a bar. He is accused of leaving the scene of the accident. Witnesses allegedly helped law enforcement find the man. After he was arrested he was taken in to have his breath tested.

Registration as a sex offender a consequence for some convictions

Those who are accused of sexual assault should take those charges seriously. Individuals in Ontario who are convicted of this crime could face time behind bars and have to registers as a sex offender. While the sex offender registration does not affect someone convicted of a sex crime until he or she is no longer imprisoned, for some, its impact will be harder to bear than incarceration.

People convicted of many different sex crimes could be subject to the registration. In addition, to sexual assault, sex crimes involving children and disabled individuals are found on the list. So too are those involving computers such as luring a child with the device or child pornography. Individuals found guilty of prostitution and incest will also have to register as a sex offender.

Toronto area residents arrested in drug raid

There are multiple situations in which a drug arrest could occur. Sometimes they are a matter of a law enforcement officer being in the right place at the right time. Other times however, they are the result of an investigation. The latter situation recently led to a raid that resulted in, among other things, the seizure of $70,000 of cocaine.

Nicknamed Project Bluenose, the investigation involved a total of 110 police officers. In the course of the raid, in addition to the cocaine, narcotics including Oxycodone, hashish, marijuana and MDMA were seized. Jewelry, vehicles and a Harley Davidson Motorcycle were also taken in the raid.

Sexsomnia defence secures man a new sexual assault trial

When someone is charged with a crime, determining the defence someone will use is an important step. It is usually accomplished with the assistance of a lawyer. Depending on the charge, and the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, there are a variety of options. Recently, a man, who was convicted in 2012 of sexual assault, secured a new trial after an interesting defence was offered.

Called the sexsomnia defence, the basis of the defence is that though the sexual assault occurred, at the time, the man was in a “parasomnic state.” If this defence is found to be valid, the man may be found not criminally responsible for the sexual assault, due to a mental disorder.

Smartphone app assists with law enforcement encounters

These days individuals throughout the Toronto area have smartphones. In addition to using them to communicate, people rely upon apps to assist with a wide variety of tasks. Because of this reliance readers are probably not surprised to learn there is an app that can assist with encounters with law enforcement.

Called Legalswipe, the new app is designed to provide users with information regarding their rights. Options are provided to the user regarding what the officer is seeking. Depending on what the user selects, various questions the user might benefit from asking are provided. It also gives the user information regarding what they are in fact required to do in response to the officers' requests.

Arrested for domestic violence? Contact a criminal defence lawyer

Disagreements arise in virtually every relationship. Sometimes those disagreements turn into volatile arguments and in some situations the next thing someone knows, law enforcement has been contacted. Upon arrival, it is highly likely that at least one party to the argument will be arrested by police. This is true even when there is little in the way of evidence that activities characteristic of domestic assault occurred.

An arrest for this alleged crime should be taken seriously because of the mandatory charge and prosecution policies in place for those arrested for domestic violence in the Toronto area. The situation can quickly change the life of the accused in ways they may not even think about, over and above a criminal conviction.

"Carding" policy in Ontario being rethought

When it comes to defending oneself against criminal accusations, the circumstances surrounding the arrest are often focused upon. Sometimes people are stopped by law enforcement officers without any real justification. It is possible that in the past residents of the Toronto area may have found that they are in police custody after being the subject of a “carding” or “street checks.”

Civil rights activists in Toronto have called for an end to the practice. An investigation conducted by a Toronto newspaper in 2012, found that black residents of the area were carded by police disproportionately, as compared to people from other backgrounds. As a result of bringing the matter to light, the practice has been suspended since January and changes to the practice are under consideration.

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