MULTIPLE CHARGES STAYED AFTER CHARTER APPLICATION ALLEGING MULTIPLE CHARTER BREACHES IS FILED
R. v. M.
Three men, including our client were walking away from a building in the direction of four police officers. The men were stopped, for no apparent reason, and separated. One officer questioned our client, and after the brief interaction it was determined that our client was under the influence of alcohol. The officer placed our client under arrest for being intoxicated in a public place pursuant to the Liquor License Act. The officer subsequently searched the client incident to arrest and found a quantity of crack cocaine in a cigarette package in the client’s pocket.
Under s. 31(5) of the act, a police officer may arrest a person if it is necessary for the safety of any person. In a Charter application, Ms. Bristow submitted that the arrest was arbitrary because public safety was not at risk as the client was with other people, at least one of whom was told to go home, who could have looked after him.
Mr. Bristow submitted that even if the arrest was not arbitrary, the search of the cigarette package found on the client was unreasonable. The Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Caslake  S.C.R. 51 at para. 22 has held that the purpose of a search incident to arrest is for officer safety reasons as well as where there is “some reasonable prospect of securing evidence of the offence for which the accused is being arrested” and to seize that evidence. The client was arrested for being intoxicated by alcohol and thus there was no reasonable prospect that evidence related to that offence would have been found in his cigarette package. It was further submitted that the search of the client’s cigarette package was not for officer safety in search of weapons. As such, Ms. Bristow submitted that the search of the client’s cigarette package, which allegedly contained cocaine, was unreasonable.
Upon filing the Charter application detailing the multiple, deliberate breaches of our client’s constitutional rights, the Crown decided to stay all of the charges against our client.
If you have a criminal matter and would like to contact Ms. Bristow for a free consultation, please contact her by phone at 416-598-5741 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Past successes do not guarantee future successes
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