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June 2020 Archives

Dynamic Entries

"Dynamic Entires" are a tactic commonly used by the police in drug investigations.  Although they thought they could, it turns out the police cannot just have a policy of bashing in your door and throwing a "distraction device" into your front entrance way scaring the hell out of you just because they have a warrant. In a case that shed a little light on the operation of the Ottawa police tactical unit, Justice Gomery of the Superior Court reminded police of their 400 year old constitutional obligations and found that they breached the Charter rights of the people inside of a house when they executed a search warrant. A lot of people haven't had the pleasure of having their front door opened with a battering ram followed by an explosion in their front hallway that sounds louder than a hand grenade, a blinding flash of light and smoke that fills their home. Lucky them. As Justice Gomery found in R. v. Bahlawan, 2020 ONSC 952, that kind of entry can have a profound effect on the people in the home, including the innocent family members of the search target. In Bahlawan the police knew no target was in the residence but entered in a so-called "dynamic entry" anyway.

The Defence of Self-Induced Intoxication

On June 3, 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal released a long-awaited judgment on the issue of the constitutionality of s.33.1 of the Criminal Code. If you listened to the media and some social media accounts, you would likely be thinking that this decision has drastically changed the defences that are now available for some types of offences (i.e. sexual assault). The media has misleadingly called this decision opening up the possibility of intoxication as a defence for offences like sexual assault. So let's take a further look into this decision and figure out what it actually means.

An Argument with Your Partner May Result in a Number of Charges

Imagine you are driving to a dinner party with your wife. You are running late. You are both irritated with the other. You both believe the other is the cause for being late. You are bickering on the drive over. Your partner gets frustrated and picks up their cellphone and says s/he is going to call the host and cancel. You grab the cellphone to prevent her from doing so. She yells at you to give it back and starts punching you in the arm. You put your hand out to stop her from hitting you because you are driving. In anger you say that she'd better stop hitting you or she'll regret it. She gets even more upset and demands you pull over and let her out. You are concerned for her safety of dropping her on the side of the road at night and decided to find a parking lot to pull into some distance down the road to try and talk and calm things down.

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June 2020 Archives | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog