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Toronto Crimes & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Can mitigating factors reduce the penalties for drug crimes?

It seems that prescription drug crimes are becoming more frequent, at least based on media coverage. In a recent example, a 35-year-old pharmacy employee in the Greater Toronto Area was arrested on suspicion of prescription drug theft. Over a five-month-period, roughly $40,000 of prescription drugs went missing.

Notably, police estimate that the drugs could sell for as much as $1.1 million on the street. Accordingly, the employee has also been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

False accusations of domestic assault are a growing trend

There is no question that spousal abuse is a heinous crime in Ontario. Its victims are often vulnerable and emotionally damaged by long-term mistreatment. This is why domestic assault is rightly taken seriously by law enforcement and advocates. However, the high-profile nature of the cause has also allowed it to be misused too often. When this happens, a person who is innocent may face detrimental consequences from one accusation.

When police were called to your house for a domestic disturbance, they were prepared for the worst-case scenario. Because a victim of domestic abuse often lives in fear of retaliation, police policy is to arrest the alleged abuser regardless of the lack of evidence. You were probably taken from the home in a police car and charged with a serious crime. It can happen very quickly, and before you knew it, you were behind bars awaiting a trial.

Man charged with impaired driving

A man accused of crashing into a Toronto police cruiser on the evening of Jan. 7 is in custody, according to authorities. Toronto police arrested the man in Scarborough and have charged him with impaired driving. At the moment, he also faces a variety of minor traffic infractions as well. No court date has been publicly announced by police at this time. 

According to the report, two Toronto police officers were in the midst of conducting a routine traffic stop on Morningside Avenue around 8:30 p.m. when another vehicle appeared over the crest of a hill. This vehicle then struck the rear of the squad car, pushing it into the vehicle they had previously stopped. Both officers sustained minor injuries in the crash and were taken to hospital for treatment. They were both later released. 

Single-car crash results in impaired driving charge and more

Young drivers are held to especially high standards in Ontario for their own safety, and for the safety of others. A young man from east of Toronto was recently reminded how high those standards actually are. He was able to walk away from an accident without an injury, but not without an impaired driving charge.

The accident occurred shortly after midnight on Dec. 29, 2016. Durham Regional Police officers reported seeing a small car travelling north on Courtice Road. The vehicle turned west onto Highway 2 before allegedly accelerating to a high rate of speed and out of sight of the officers.

Lost wallet leads to criminal charges against Toronto cop

Sometimes the misfortune of a moment can cause a multitude of troubles. In a recent example in the news, a simple lost wallet was all it took to land a Toronto police officer in the middle of a drug possession controversy. The veteran cop now faces criminal charges after a discovery was allegedly made in his absence.

On Sept. 19, 2016, a Toronto police officer appeared at an east Toronto courthouse as a witness in a case. After his part was done, the officer, a 16-year veteran and member of the Guns & Gangs Task Force, left the building but forgot his wallet. Another officer found the wallet and looked inside for identification.

Martial arts instructor charged with sexual assault

Certain professions require close physical contact between a professional and other people. Doctors and sports coaches are good examples of workers who fall into that category. There are times when what is intended to be innocent contact can be misconstrued and seen as unwelcome, or even criminal. A martial arts instructor from east of Toronto stands accused of sexual assault after an alleged incident involving one of his students.

The instructor, a 32-year-old man, teaches jiu jitsu in Courtice, a small community outside the GTA. It is alleged that a strong friendship developed over the past three years between the man and one of his students, a girl who is now 16 years old. This friendship is reported to have "intensified" recently. 

Ontario pharmacist arrested for alleged drug trafficking

For those individuals with a checkered history, the fear is always there that past deeds may forever alter the way others perceive them. A southwestern Ontario man who once faced disciplinary action for drug crimes, finds himself in trouble once more. He and another individual have been arrested, and he now faces two counts of drug trafficking.

The accused is a 74-year-old pharmacist who had been working in Windsor and the surrounding area. Ontario Provincial Police officers arrested the pharmacist along with another man on Dec. 17. The specific charges against the second man were not reported, and no details about the alleged crimes were provided. The pharmacist will appear in court in Jan. 2017.

Alleged sexual assault happens in Toronto bar; 2 men charged

The truth of what happens behind closed doors is known only to those who were there. If one person claims illegal activity occurred, the burden of proof lies upon that person, but the accused may face intense scrutiny during an investigation, and may suffer personally and professionally. An alleged sexual assault has put two Toronto men at the centre of a police investigation, and may have repercussions at work.

The incident is alleged to have occurred on Dec. 15 at a bar in Little Italy near College St. and Manning Ave. Toronto Police have reported that a 24-year-old woman claims she was given alcohol and illegal drugs, and then held against her will. She further claims that two men sexually assaulted her inside the bar.

Police to test devices that screen drivers for illegal drugs

As every Canadian of voting age is doubtless aware, the federal government is planning to move ahead with its campaign promise to legalize marijuana. Police across the country are trying to prepare for seeing more drivers under the influence of illegal drugs. Here at home, Toronto Police are about to begin testing devices they feel may be useful in the fight against impaired drivers.

The two different devices each have the ability to screen a saliva sample for a variety of drugs. Preliminary tests have shown the devices are able to detect if the test subject has recently used cocaine, opioids, methamphetamine or cannabis. What they cannot do is determine the level of impairment.

Illegal substances found in home; 2 people charged

Evidence is the cornerstone of most criminal prosecutions. The presence of illegal substances often throws all other evidence into shadows in a drug-related case. An abundance of physical evidence was the undoing of two individuals after a raid east of Toronto earlier this year.

A home in central Kitchener was raided by police officers in March. Found in the home were quantities of drugs, including methamphetamine, crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Also found were 28 grams of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that has garnered a lot of media attention lately. One drug expert said that amount of the painkiller was enough to potentially make 14,000 lethal doses.