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18

March

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Sexual Assault Involving “Date Rape Drugs”

“Date Rape” = Sexual Assault

“Date rape” is a term used to describe sexual assault by a friend or an acquaintance and is a shockingly common, though widely under-reported, crime in Canada. According to a Statistics Canada survey, most (69%) of women who have been sexually assaulted were sexually assaulted by men known to them: dates, boyfriends, marital partners, friends, family members, or neighbours.

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05

March

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Post With Extreme Caution: Your Social Media Updates Can Sink Your Criminal Defence

Police and Crown Prosecutors Will Use Your Posts Against You

If you are not using social media, your kid, friends and the people around you likely are. Social media use has exploded over the past decade, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and new sites popping up seemingly every week being places to share the latest news, gossip and photos. But social media users should understand that it’s not just their friends who can see what they’ve been up to. So can police officers and prosecutors. Continue reading

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18

February

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When Can Police Lawfully Search My Vehicle?

In Canada, there are specific laws that govern when and under what circumstances police can stop and search your vehicle. The failure of police to follow these guidelines or overstep their authority may constitute a violation of Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and may mean that any incriminating evidence they find in such a search will not be allowed to be used against you in court. Continue reading

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02

February

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Impaired Driving Laws And Marijuana: What Canadian Drivers Need to Know

You Can Be Arrested For Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Under Canadian law, operating a motor vehicle while impaired by either drugs or alcohol is considered a crime. A conviction for operating while impaired can have serious implications. In addition to losing your driving privileges and facing fines and potential jail time, a conviction may also negatively impact your reputation, and losing your licence may affect potential employment or educational opportunities. Continue reading

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17

January

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When Youth Offences Become Adult Offences

The Youth Criminal Justice Act

Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), adopted in 2003, sets forth guidelines for prosecuting youths ages 12 to 18 who are alleged to have committed crimes. The purpose of the YCJA is to provide a balanced approach to the sentencing of teens in an effort to improve offenders’ reintegration process following incarceration – and thus deter further criminal activity – while also taking into consideration victims’ interest in meaningful consequences for criminal conduct. Continue reading

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03

January

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Can Verbally Threatening Someone Land You in Jail?

Toronto is famous for many things: clean streets, friendly people, cultural diversity, and thriving commerce. Unfortunately, it is also now infamous for its charismatic mayor, Rob Ford. The politician’s antics have landed him in some pretty hot water. Among his several missteps in recent months is a viral video that shows Ford threatening to kill an unidentified person who wasn’t present when Ford made his threats. The video, which was obtained by The Toronto Star and made available to the public by CTV News, raised questions about whether Ford’s statements rose to the level of a crime. Does threatening to hurt or kill someone constitute an assault? Or is there some other crime involved? Continue reading

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03

January

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Prescription Drug and Trafficking Offences

Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise

When people think of drug crimes or drug abuse, they typically picture illicit substances bought on the “street” like cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine. Although these substances make up a large portion of drug-related criminal offences, an increasing number of Canadians are abusing, and being charged with illegally possessing or trafficking in, prescription medications. While these medications confer many benefits when used properly by the person to which they are prescribed, in the wrong hands they can be just as dangerous and deadly as street drugs. As a result, Canadian law imposes strict penalties on individuals who illegally use or traffic in prescription drugs. Continue reading

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11

November

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Presumed Guilty: How the Government’s New DNA Proposal Undermines Section 8

The Federal Government has proposed yet another incursion into the civil rights of Canadians. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Justice Minister Peter MacKay said that the government is considering collecting DNA samples of Canadians arrested for certain crimes. According to Minister MacKay, “Right now we’re limited to taking it on conviction … It could be expanded to take on arrest, like a fingerprint.” Continue reading

05

March

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Why you need a criminal lawyer

When you’re facing a challenge, hiring the right lawyer is one of the most important decisions that you can make to protect yourself. This is never more true than when it comes to criminal charges. If you have been charged with a crime or you suspect that criminal charges may be in your future, you need sound legal advice now. Your reputation, your finances, and your freedom may well depend on the decisions you make with regard to your legal defence. Continue reading