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December 2018 Archives

Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Reckless Discharge of a Firearm Struck Down

Over the last few years, multiple mandatory minimum sentences have been challenged in courts across Canada. The federal government has also toyed with the idea of repealing a number of these sentences that came into force during the Conservative government. However, there has been little action on this front from the Liberals and so it seems to be left to the courts to determine the constitutionality of each mandatory minimum sentence case-by-case. In June of this year, the British Columbia Supreme Court (BCSC) reviewed two firearm offences that each carry a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence in the case of R. v. Dingwall (Dingwall).

Police no longer need a reasonable suspicion to demand a roadside screening

In impaired driving and over 80 cases, the law for years has been that if the police stop an individual on the side of the road they could demand they blow into a roadside screening device only if:

The Defence of Implied Consent to Domestic Assault

The offence of assault is widely defined and can capture all kinds of contact that occur in a domestic relationship. It includes any circumstance where a person, without the consent of the other person, applies force intentionally to that person, directly or indirectly. It also includes certain situations where no actual force is applied. 

The Offence of Obtaining Sexual Services for Consideration

Section 286.1 of the Criminal Code is part of the new prostitution laws in Canada.  It makes it an offence to obtain for consideration, or communicate with anyone for the purpose of obtaining for consideration, the sexual services of a person.  The provision criminalizes the purchasing of sexual services but not the selling.  It was enacted in 2014 in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Bedford to strike down a number of prosititution-related prohibitions.  

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December 2018 Archives | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog