Police in Niagara Falls are reporting an increasing number of suspected drug dealers from the Greater Toronto Area coming to the city and selling drugs. Police claim to have found $58,000 worth of heroin, marijuana and cocaine, as well as cash and two weapons. The mayor of Niagara Falls is confident, however, that dealers from the GTA will not be able to make much of a foothold in the city, which indicates that he may look to use harsh police tactics to try to arrest anyone believed to be involved with drugs.
Toronto readers may have heard about the tragic death of a Toronto teenager who died in a Windsor street fight recently, but what is surprising is that only one person has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Should he be charged with any other violent crimes, he could be facing a very serious punishment.
As we have mentioned previously, there are certain requirements that the Crown must meet to convict a defendant of a criminal charge. While that threshold of "beyond a reasonable doubt" applies to all criminal charges, it is especially important for serious crimes, such as sexual offences. As the punishment for such a charge can be quite severe, it is vital for defendants to work with their criminal defence lawyers to question the Crown's case and force them to provide only credible evidence to support a conviction.
The debate on personal marijuana use in Canada has been going on for quite some time, but, as of yet, there has been no consensus on allowing individuals to make responsible choices about using marijuana. Some of those opposed to legalised marijuana are police, which would make many people in Mississauga think that if the amount of marijuana in Canada went down police would be happy. Not so, it seems, as Canadian police recently announced that they were interested in fighting the international drug trade after being asked about reports of Canadian marijuana being sent to Vietnam.
There are very few criminal charges in Ontario that carry the same weight or gravity as sexual crimes committed against a minor. Being convicted of possession of child pornography may mean years in prison and forever being labelled as a sex offender. The punishment is severe, which is why it is so important that any violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms be investigated thoroughly before a conviction is handed down. If police or the Crown has not respected someone's Charter rights, a judge may throw out a case.
According to Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all Canadians have "the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure." While this seems relatively straightforward, the Supreme Court has heard many cases that carefully define what this right means, but it typically means that police cannot search through an individual's things if it would violate his or her reasonable expectation of privacy. If there would be a violation, police typically need to present evidence and apply for a search warrant before being allowed to search.
Canada prides itself on being a country that truly cares for its citizens and is compassionate to its citizens' unique situations. Take, for example, individuals with mobility issues. Toronto and cities across Canada have made buildings accessible, services available and other accommodations for people. Similarly, people with serious illnesses and medical conditions are not just told to "get over it" and participate in normal society. Since most people can agree that heroin addiction is a serious medical condition, why then do we criminally charge people for heroin possession?
It is rare for Ontario judges to be so vocal about what they think of a defendant, but a Greater Sudbury judge had no qualms in telling a 30-year-old man that if he could, he would put the man in jail. This is even after both the man’s criminal defence lawyer and the Crown submitted a joint recommendation to the court asking for a $1,250 fine. Fortunately for the man, the judge recognized that the Crown’s case had sufficient issues, preventing him from convicting the defendant for impaired driving.
In the small town of Red Rock, Ontario, three teenagers have been arrested on drug charges. Most people in Toronto remember making mistakes when they were younger. Hopefully, those mistakes were forgiven and didn’t do too much damage to an individual’s future. For teens charged with marijuana possession, however, this small mistake could have serious and long-lasting consequences. For teens who are unable to clear their names, a drug conviction could cost them a spot at university, a job or even a place to live.
What many people in Mississauga may not realize is that even the slightest rumor that someone has committed a violent crime is enough to permanently tarnish a reputation. If someone is facing criminal charges for violent crimes, he or she not only has to deal with serious punishment if convicted, but also the discrimination that comes with having a negative reputation. Working with a criminal defence lawyer can help to both have charges cleared, but also to rebuild a damaged reputation.