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Toronto Crimes & Misdemeanours Law Blog

"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.

Community adopts program designed to help some sex offenders

Of all the criminal offenses that someone could be accused of there are some that result in more serious consequences and stigmas than others. In general, society has a distaste for those who are found guilty of child pornography offences. In addition, convictions on these types of crimes could lead to serious penalties. Besides prison time, for residents of the greater Toronto area it could become necessary to register as a sex offender.

Evidence obtained through wiretaps should be carefully scrutinized

When investigating drug trafficking or importation, law enforcement officers often try to piece together an additional charge of conspiracy. The investigative efforts that lead to conspiracy charges may involve wiretaps and other searches that require warrants.

Any kind of police search must follow established protocol and not violate the Charter rights of the person or persons being investigated. If police improperly handle a search warrant or wiretap -- and this happens more often than you might realize -- then the evidence seized in the wiretap or search may be excluded from the ensuing trial.

Regardless of knowledge of criminal justice system contact lawyer

When the average person is arrested and accused of committing a crime he or she may feel as though the cards are stacked against them. They may also feel as though not having a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system puts them at a disadvantage. Fortunately criminal defence lawyers are there to assist those who find themselves in this situation. The reality is anyone who has been accused of a crime--including those who have an intimate knowledge of the criminal justice system because they work in it--should contact a criminal defence lawyer. 

Consequences for some crimes extend beyond prison time

If you are convicted of a sex crime it is possible that there were be multiple types of consequences. While a prison stay may seem like the biggest hurdle to get past, it is not uncommon for those convicted to face a different kind of life after getting out. A 34-year-old man who is considered to be a “high-risk” offender will soon be released. He has been in prison for two years. He was found guilty of theft, threatening death, assault with intent to resist arrest and failure to comply with probation.

What role will the passage of time have on sexual assault trial?

Residents of Toronto may be aware of a criminal case that is currently being tried involving a former police officer. The 70-year-old man, who has not worked for the Toronto Metropolitan Police since 1970, was accused of sexually assaulting two—then boys—repeatedly.

Specifically, the former cop is charged with:

  • Two counts of indecent assault
  • One count of gross indecency

Procedural missteps can lead to acquittal

There are many reasons that someone who is accused of committing a crime could be acquitted. Sometimes it is based on testimony. Other times evidence presented at trial is what leads to someone being found not guilty. In still other situations procedural issues can lead to the same outcome.

A woman who lives in Ontario is well aware of this. She was recently acquitted of driving with excess alcohol in her system and impaired driving because of the way in which duty counsel spoke to her prior to her taking a breathalyzer test.

Man accused of domestic assault avoids jail time

Domestic assault is taken very seriously by authorities in the province of Ontario. Accordingly, the penalties for a conviction can be harsh and forever change the life of the person who is deemed guilty of the offence. This reality leads most who are in this situation to seek assistance from a criminal defence lawyer who has a history of handling such cases.

A 19-year-old Ontario man did that very thing and it is possible that it could be what led to the fairly positive resolution of the domestic assault charges he faced. The man received:

  • A suspended sentence.
  • A fine of $100.
  • 12 months probation.
  • Domestic violence, substance abuse and anger management counseling.

Man accused of attempting to transport drugs via a courier

In previous posts we have written about situations in which people have been charged with drug crimes after being caught in possession of the drugs. While this is certainly a situation where someone could face and arrest and drug charge, as a recent arrest made by Toronto police illustrates, one need not have the drugs on his or her person to be arrested for drug trafficking.

Police were called to a courier company after an employee became suspicious about a package that was dropped off, likely to be shipped to Edmonton. When the 28-year-old man who brought the first package returned with another one, he was arrested. Police claim to have recovered a total of $175,000 in cash as well as ketamine and cocaine with a street value of $550,000 from the packages.

Toronto police officers begin body camera pilot

As technological advancements have been made people in all occupations have integrated new tools into their daily tasks. Law enforcement officers are not an exception. Police officers in Toronto are taking part in a pilot project involving body cameras. While there are many who support the use of the technology others are not as keen.

There are a couple of reasons why people are in support of police officers in Toronto wearing lapel cameras. The first is that they record how the police officers conduct themselves and would allow others to see if there was any misconduct. In some situations it is possible that footage captured by the cameras could also be used as evidence at criminal trials.