Blog Post Archives - LCP Criminal Lawyers

Category Archives: Blog Post

Drug Charges and Drug Trafficking Charges

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) sets out which drugs are illegal in Canada
(marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.). There are four main offences in the CDSA: possession,
possession for the purpose, trafficking, and importing.

A possession charge means you are found with drugs in an amount for personal use. If it is your
first time facing a possession charge (under 30 grams of marijuana), you may be eligible for a diversion program. This means your charges may be withdrawn.

Possession for the purpose of trafficking means that you are in possession of an unlawful
substance for the purpose of selling or giving the substance to another person. This usually
means you are in possession of a large amount of an illegal substance – not for personal use (i.e.
you intend to sell the drugs). Trafficking in illegal drugs means selling or giving them to other
individuals, including undercover police officers. Importation of drugs occurs when you enter
Canada with an illegal substance.

Many people ask the question, “How do I beat my drug charge?” when charged with a drug
offence.

To be found guilty, the Crown must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown
must always prove the nature of the substance and possession of the substance. To prove
possession, the Crown must show that you had knowledge and control of the substance. When
charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, the Crown must also prove that the
possession was for the purpose of trafficking.

Even if the Crown proves all of the necessary elements of the offence, you can still win your
case by demonstrating that your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been
violated by the police. For example, your right to be protected against unlawful search and
seizure may have been violated if the police searched a home or a car without a search warrant.

If you have been arrested and charged with any drug offences (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.),
Lockyer Campbell Posner can help you to avoid a criminal conviction.

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POLICE SURVEILLANCE POWERS IN THE ERA OF CONDO LIVING

by Eva Taché-Green

A quick glance at the changing skyline of Toronto says a lot about the increasing popularity of condominiums. Condo living means cutting back on square footage and swapping big backyards for sweeping views and access to amenities. But according to recent case law in Ontario, it also means giving up our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by the police.
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JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY VS. JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE: CONTRASTING APPROACHES IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES

by Alexander Ostroff

Last week, in California, a judge was removed from office after voters elected to recall him in the aftermath of a high profile sexual assault trial.1. In that trial, the accused was convicted and the judge imposed a sentence that fell within the lawful exercise of his discretion, but there was widespread public opinion that the sentence was overly lenient. Shortly after the trial, California law was changed to increase the mandatory minimum sentence for that charge. After members of the public filed complaints, an independent state agency in California with the power to discipline and remove judges from office conducted an investigation and released a report, in which they did not find that there had been judicial misconduct. However, in California, trial judges are elected, and can be removed from office as the result of a public recall vote. The impact of this highly-visible and unpopular decision affected the public enough for a successful electoral campaign to have the judge removed before the end of his term. This case raises interesting questions about judicial accountability and judicial independence and is an interesting contrast to the different balance that is struck between these important values in the Canadian legal system.

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THE ACCUSED’S RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES

by Alexandra Mamo

It seems impossible to open a newspaper without reading about sexual assault. With the popularity of the #MeToo campaign, the focus of the current cultural conversation is on the unfair treatment of victims in our criminal justice system. In an attempt to address these perceived injustices, the Canadian government has introduced amendments to the Criminal Code in Bill C-51 which seek to provide a broader role for complainants in sexual assault trials. However, these fundamental changes will severely compromise the rights of accused parties to a fair trial.
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THE CASE AGAINST USING RAP LYRICS AS EVIDENCE OF GUILT

by Lance Beechener

In Canada, prosecutors are increasingly relying upon an accused person’s artistic creations, frequently in the form of rap music, to establish guilt.1. This subject has attracted significant academic commentary both in Canada and in the United States, as well as considerable judicial attention in the U.S. The issue received its most recent and meaningful Canadian appellate treatment in the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Skeete, 2017 ONCA 926.

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LUKIS ANDERSON: ALMOST WRONGLY CONVICTED BY HIS OWN DNA

by Gabriel Gross-Stein

On November 29, 2012, Raveesh Kumar was killed during the robbery of his California home. He was tied up and gagged by the robbers, and suffocated because the duct tape covered his nose and mouth. Three weeks later, Lukis Anderson was charged with the murder. His DNA had been found underneath Kumar’s fingernails.
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BILL C-75: MAKING AN UNFAIR PROCESS WORSE

by Alison Craig

On March 29, 2018, Bill C-75 was introduced for its first reading in the House of Commons. Proponents of the Bill argue that it will bring about a “cultural shift” in the justice system, speed up the process, and unclog the courts. The Bill makes significant changes to the jury selection process – changes which result in more unfair trials, less cultural diversity on juries, and a greater potential for wrongful convictions. Gone will be peremptory challenges, which allow counsel for the accused (and the Crown) to exclude a limited number of jurors without having to provide a reason.
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THE CASE FOR THE PRELIMINARY INQUIRY

by Brian Eberdt

Last month, the federal government announced Bill C-75, which is legislation that would change many sections of the Criminal Code. They would change how juries are selected, how bail hearings are conducted, sentencing, and the availability of preliminary inquiries. The reaction to Bill C-75 has been significant and mixed. The reaction from criminal defence lawyers has been almost entirely negative. In this article, I address the impact that Bill C-75 would have on the preliminary inquiry and why these changes are a poor solution to address the problem of lengthy waits for trials.
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