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November 2017 Archives

Expert Evidence

Last week, the Ontario of Appeal heard the appeal of the Christy Natsis case. You may recall the Natsis trial a few years ago: a Pembroke dentist who was charged with impaired driving and driving with over 80 milligrams of alcohol in her system. Ultimately, after 55 days of trial, the trial judge excluded the breath readings because of violations of Ms. Natsis's rights, but convicted her of impaired driving causing death, largely on the expert testimony of the Ontario Provincial Police reconstructionists. The main issue on appeal is whether the trial judge properly allowed the police officers to testify as an expert and provide opinion evidence on the nature of the accident.

What is Canada's Sexual Offender Registry

SOIRA, or the Sexual Offender Information Registry Act [LINK #1], came into effect in 2004 and requires accused persons convicted of one of the listed sex-related criminal offences to be registered in a sexual offender database. The judge sentencing the accused has no discretion, they must place the accused on the registry.

Ontario's zero tolernace policy may soon become even stricter

Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol could be facing tougher penalties with the advent of legal recreational marijuana use coming in July 2018. Ontario is potentially planning to implement stricter laws for drivers 21 years old and younger, all fledgling drivers and all commercial vehicle drivers. If police find you under the influence, you may have to dig deeper into your pockets since fines would increase along with licence suspensions.

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November 2017 Archives | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog