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Toronto Crimes & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Criminal laws apply to all in Ontario, even law enforcement

The laws in place in the province of Ontario apply to all. This means that no one—even a law enforcement officer—is immune from criminal charges. This is illustrated in the recent charges laid against a Toronto police officer.

The man, a police sergeant who has been with Toronto’s police force for more than 20 years, is facing two charges of sexual assault stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred last fall, approximately a month apart. In both cases the man is accused of using his police cruiser to drive women home and then sexual assaulting them.

Test currently lacking for driving impaired due to marijuana

As readers are likely well aware, the laws in place in Ontario regarding drunk driving are well established. The same cannot be said however for impaired driving due to marijuana. Currently law enforcement does not have a good way to determine whether someone who is believed to be high from pot, is in fact too impaired to drive. With the possibility of marijuana becoming legal becoming more and more of a reality, some are concerned such a change could result in more drivers taking to the road after first using the drug. 

Domestic violence and psychedelic drugs

In our last post we wrote about the existence of a domestic violence court in the province of Ontario. The court is used in cases where the individuals involved in the alleged activity share an intimate relationship. At the end of the process, if the accused is found guilty, it is possible he or she could face serious consequences. But what if the focus was instead on prevention domestic violence?

While no two domestic violence situations are exactly the same, in many situations it is possible that that substance abuse is an underlying issue for the accused. A recent study supports the notion that psychedelic drugs might actually help to reduce the number of domestic violence incidents that occur.

Domestic violence court is not cruel and unusual punishment

Readers may be aware that in Ontario, there is a special court in which domestic violence matters may be handled. The court is specifically designed to address domestic violence allegations between intimate partners. Other cases of this nature, involving people who do not fit that definition, are heard in a criminal court.

Recently, a man who was charged with bail breach after he allegedly violated specifications that he was to stay away from the home of his son’s mother, alleged that having his case in that court violated his rights and caused him distress. The man was on bail after being charged with assaulting his son.

90 investigation culminates in arrest of 80 people

In our last post we wrote about a traffic stop that led to criminal charges. While this is one possible catalyst for criminal charges, there are other things that could lead to an arrest and charges. Sometimes they are preceded by an investigation.

Recently, a three month long investigation was conducted which collected information on people suspected of either visiting child porn sites or downloading child pornography. In the course of the investigation, a total of 2,038 unique IP addresses were collected.

Violation of rights could lead to dismissal of criminal charges

Residents of the province of Ontario have certain rights. Some of these rights pertain to how police officers can interact with them. For example, in Toronto, police are not supposed to be able to stop someone without having a legitimate reason. If the reason for stopping someone is not legitimate, it is possible that any charges that follow an arrest could be dismissed. This is illustrated in the recent dismissal of multiple charges brought against a man in the city.

Supreme Court rules on some mandatory minimum sentences

As is the case with any law in Canada, it is possible that criminal laws could later be amended or repealed. This is illustrated by two recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions. Both concern the use of mandatory minimum jail sentences that were previously put in place.

The first decision concerns the Truth in Sentencing Act. Under this act, the time individuals convicted of crimes spent in custody while awaiting trial were not given any extra credit for that time. Instead, they were only given one credit for each day served. This resulted in longer periods of time spent in jail.

Could accusers in sex assault case face criminal charges?

In our last post we mentioned that lawyer Joseph Neuberger had been called upon to provide insight on the recent sexual assault case involving former CDC radio host, Jian Ghomeshi. Among other outlets, he spoke with the National Post regarding the matter.  In a piece titled “What lies ahead of Ghomeshi” he addressed several issues that could be on the minds of readers, regarding Ghomeshi’s accusers.

Joseph Neuberger provides insight on recent sex assault case

In our last post we wrote about the decision recently reached in the trial of former CBC radio host, Jian Ghomesh. In that post we provided information regarding why the justice reached the decision he did. Since the decision, the verdict has been the focus of many conversations both in the community as well as in the media. Our own Joseph Neuberger has been providing commentary on the trial to multiple media outlets including "Fifth Estate," CBC Radio's program "As It Happens," and the CTV News Channel. 

Former radio host acquitted of sexual assault charges

In an earlier post we wrote about the sexual assault trial of a former radio host. The man was facing multiple charges in connection with three different women. Specifically he was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking. At trial the man admitted to engaging in sex he characterized as “rough” but claimed the women who accused him of the criminal acts, consented to the activity. During trial, among other things, his defence lawyer pointed out inconsistencies in the testimony of his accusers. Recently a verdict was reached.