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September 2018 Archives

Despite police mistakes when seizing a computer to search constituting Charter breaches, the evidence was still deemed admissible

One of the methods by which police are made aware of the presence of child pornography on a computer is when a computer technician is hired to fix the computer and in the process of doing so discovers the illegal content. A recent decision of the Court of Appeal of Alberta, R v Villaroman, 2018 ABCA 220ΒΈ considered such a case.

R. v. Hammerstorm - A Witness' Youth Criminal Record

Often times in a trial, the credibility of a witness is an important issue. The lawyers may seek to attack the credibility of a witness by asking them questions about their criminal record (If they have one). For example, if John Smith swears that he saw my client stealing from a grocery store, it might be helpful to highlight the fact that he himself has a criminal record for perjury (lying to a court). In those circumstances, John Smith's previous criminal conviction for perjury, is relevant to whether he is a credible a witness in my client's trial.

Cannabis detection: Roadside mouth swabs proposed in Canada

A request to walk in a straight line, or take a breathalyzer test, may be expected if you are pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving. But what options are available to police officers when they suspect someone has been driving under the influence of cannabis? This is a question many Canadians have asked since the country announced the legalization of cannabis earlier this year.

Court considers admissibility of detector dogs and ion scanners at border crossings

When you cross the border into Canada from the USA, you are subjected to a search, where there is a lower expectation of privacy than you would otherwise have. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court considered the use of both detector dogs and ion scanners at the border. The case involved a truck driver crossing into Canada with a load of oranges, and upon inspection they found 30 kilograms of cocaine hidden among the oranges. Subsequently, the detector dog, Pumba, made an indication on a suitcase in the cab of the truck. A search of the bag revealed no drugs, although a swab of the suitcase put through an ion scanner tested positive for cocaine.

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September 2018 Archives | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog