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Toronto Crimes & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Allegations of violent crime require custom defence strategies

When a person is accused of a violent crime, most people tend to presume guilt before all of the facts of the case are heard. Understandably, allegations of violence evoke strong emotions, but the reality is that everyone accused of a crime in Canada has a right to challenge the prosecution's evidence. In fact, many criminal cases are won by defendants before arguments are ever presented to a judge.

Allegations of assault, murder, manslaughter and domestic violence arise from a wide variety of circumstances. In any case, defendants can be assured that the Crown prosecutor will interpret the evidence in such a way as to attach the severest possible charges. However, the real story is often much more complex than the one told by the prosecution.

Study connects use of crystal meth with traumatic brain injury

As anyone who has ever faced a drug charge related to the possession of methamphetamines can likely attest, the charges need to be taken seriously. This is because of the harsh penalties that could accompany a conviction. These penalties include:

  • Jail time.
  • Significant fines.
  • A criminal record.

With the serious impact potentially tied to the drug many may wonder what prompts someone to take the drug in the first place. A study recently conducted in Canada, and published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, may shed some light on the matter. The study, which focused on teenagers specifically, was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research Team Grant in Traumatic Brain Injury and Violence and the Ontario Neurotrama Foundation.

Questions of sexual assault draw sharp focus this winter in Ontario

In contrast to the normal holiday festivities, this winter is quickly becoming characterized as a time of heightened concern over sexual misconduct. In particular, allegations of sexual assault against popular media figures such as Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby have drawn sharp focus in Toronto, and all 20 provincial universities in Ontario recently announced new measures for dealing with on-campus sexual assault.

Sexual assault charges arise from a variety of situations. Sometimes allegations refer to workplace or dating relationships; other times the accuser doesn't know the accused; in other cases, the charges refer to incidents that allegedly happened years ago.

OPP cracking down on drivers impaired by drugs this holiday season

Each year during the holiday season, the Ontario Provincial Police and local law enforcement agencies crack down on impaired driving throughout the province. The OPP's annual Festive RIDE campaign is underway, and drivers should be aware that this season the police have a particular interest in charging motorists not only with driving while impaired by alcohol, but also with driving while impaired by drugs.

Compared to the number of impaired driving charges from last year, the number this year has been down significantly. However, the OPP reports that incidents of driving while impaired by drugs increased by 32 per cent. It is that kind of increase that gives police officers the incentive to send more drug recognition experts into the field during what is already a relatively busy season for impaired-driving charges.

15 arrested in connection with alleged drug trafficking in GTA

Police departments in the Greater Toronto Area sometimes combine their significant resources to conduct sweeping investigations into the trafficking of illegal substances. While such investigations may result in the seizure of large amounts of drugs, innocent people can easily become caught up in the mix by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fifteen people were recently arrested after officers from numerous departments searched 15 locations in Toronto, Halton and Hamilton. According to Halton Regional Police, the investigation lasted for eight months, and 140 officers were employed in the arrest of the 15 accused individuals. The charges against them include drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Defending professionals in administrative and criminal proceedings

We've discussed on numerous occasions the fact that professionals accused of crimes can also face career-ending consequences outside the criminal justice system. Medical professionals and financial professionals may be particularly vulnerable to disciplinary action in their chosen fields.

When an individual faces criminal charges in addition to allegations of professional misconduct, a comprehensive legal strategy is needed to protect the defendant's rights during criminal court proceedings and administrative hearings. At Neuberger & Partners LLP, we understand the concerns of professionals facing criminal charges, and we fight on behalf of clients to protect their rights and freedom, as well as their careers.

Toronto condo explosion due to meth lab, according to police

A man is dealing with more than burn injuries after an explosion recently blew off the front door of his sixth-floor condo in Toronto's Liberty Village. The 36-year-old has been charged with drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. Specifically, police believe the defendant was operating a meth lab in the residence.

The man was reportedly inside the condo when the blast occurred, and he was able to leave the home and transport himself to hospital to be treated for minor burns. After that, he was arrested. Initially, the explosion was thought to be due to natural gas, but police became suspicious after noticing explosive chemicals, one of which was reportedly acetone. The defendant, who appeared in court on Nov. 18, is expected to face additional charges.

Justices overturn Ontario man's sexual assault conviction

An Ontario man will have a new criminal trial now that the Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned his 2012 conviction. It was alleged that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl nine years ago, and after the initial trial, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

However, the court of appeal found that the 14-year-old girl's mother tried to "trick" the man into confessing. The mother reportedly told the man that she "would understand" if the daughter was the one who initiated sexual contact. At trial, the mother testified that the defendant confessed to her and said that the sexual contact was instigated by the daughter.

Trial of Sudbury pharmacist underway

In addition to jail time and monetary penalties, a criminal charge can lead to damage to a professional's reputation. However, a defence lawyer's early intervention in the legal process may effectively mitigate the negative repercussions of a criminal charge. An allegation does not automatically proceed to a conviction, and every professional accused of a crime has a right to mount a strong criminal defence.

A Sudbury pharmacist is currently responding to six criminal allegations, including a drug trafficking charge. A woman who worked for the pharmacist was given a three-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to drug offences. In a statement read to the court in February, the pharmacist said that his only mistake was not implementing measures to prevent prescription drug theft, and that his trusted employee stole from the pharmacy over a period of time.

Incident in Quebec draws attention to date-rape drugs in Canada

Traces of GHB, a drug commonly associated with date rape, were detected in the system of a teenage girl who was found naked at a Halloween party in Quebec, and the incident has sparked concerns about the use of such drugs across Canada. Ketamine and rohypnol are two other drugs often linked to date rape.

Veterinarians use ketamine as an anesthetic for animals, but rohypnol and GHB are classified as illegal substances under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The human body processes these drugs quite quickly. GHB cannot be traced in the urine after a period of 12 hours, and rohypnol can be untraceable in the blood and urine after 72 hours.

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