This week's story is a bit outside the GTA, but is worthy of being covered just because of the enormous number of charges leveled against six individuals. The Ottawa police department had been working with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for the past two years to bring down what they are calling a cocaine ring. Whether each individual is facing all 75 charges or whether they are spread out among those arrested is not entirely clear, but the sheer scale of this police operation is staggering.
Following a November conviction of a North York anesthesiologist, the court sentenced him to 10 years in prison today. The doctor and his criminal defence lawyer are filing an appeal for the sexual assault conviction, but not for the sentence.
Not many people are more aware of the consequences of marijuana trafficking in Ontario than a Peel Regional Police officer. He or she would know that possession for the purposes of trafficking could lead to jail time, heavy fines and, a criminal record that can wreak havoc on a career and life in general. So, why would a police officer be involved with drug trafficking? For a 47-year-old constable who was convicted of theft and unlawful possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana, the unlawful attempt to possess an illegal substance for the purpose of trafficking, and breach of trust, he has said that he wasn't involved, he was simply following orders.
There are certain rights that all Canadian defendants and suspects have, many of which are designed to protect them from inappropriate treatment by the government. This includes police. There are certain things that police officers just can't do to suspects. One of the reasons is because if a suspect talks or admits to something, police want the admission to be of the suspect's own free will. If a court believes that the confession is coerced, it will be thrown out and the officers' behavior will be under close scrutiny.
Though many in the Greater Toronto Area may think a criminal defence lawyer's job is to clear a defendant's name, that is only part of the job. A big part of a defence lawyer's work is protecting his or her client's rights. From police to prosecutors, a defendant's rights could be violated at any time. Working to prevent any such violation and protesting when the defendant's rights are infringed upon is an important part of making sure a defendant gets the fairest trial he or she can.
An Ontario man was recently sentenced to 100 days in jail, ordered to stay away from alcohol and will not be able to drive for the next 30 months after he was arrested for driving through a red light at the rocket-fast speed of 15 km/h. While no one was injured, Sarnia police insisted on stopping, arresting and charging the man with drunk driving.
A late-night ride in Brantford raised some suspicions late last week and now three men are facing drug charges. The three young men were charged with a variety of crimes, including possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.
It can be extremely frightening to be suspected of a crime. To have police question you in an interrogation room can be confusing, stressful and, above all else, terrifying. Even though Ontario police must advise someone being arrested of his or her right to a lawyer, the individual cannot have a lawyer present during interrogation. Though anyone arrested of a crime can speak with a lawyer before the interrogation, he or she must be wise when speaking with police.