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Posts tagged "searches"

Can the police use excluded wiretaps at trial?

You've been charged with a criminal offence, such as conspiracy to traffic cocaine. The police used an agent and a wiretap to gather incriminating evidence against you. In doing so, they breached your Charter rights. The presiding judge rules that the wiretaps should be excluded, but that the agent can still give evidence.

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.

SCC Decision Clarifies Right of Privacy in Shared Digital Devices

In December the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in R v Reeves. This decision considered what expectation of privacy an individual has in a shared digital device, such as a shared computer or tablet. The Court found that a third-party, even one who has access to the shared device, cannot unilaterally consent to a police search and seizure of the device.

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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Posts tagged "searches" | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog