Search warrants

There are four issues when assessing a search warrant under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or Criminal Code:
1. was the information supporting the Information to Obtain, credible, corroborated and compelling?
2. was evidence gathered in accordance to the Charter?
3. was the search warranted executed in accordance with the Charter??
4. where there any other Charter breaches?

How the search is conducted is important, did they go to the right place, at the right time?

After the search, defence counsel can challenge the manner of the search, whether the search should have been authorized and seek to exclude what was found in the seach, be it firearms, drugs, or other things.

If you have experienced a search warrant, contact our office as soon as possible.

When can the police search my car?

1. If you are stopped for drunk driving and you have alcohol visible

2. If you are stopped and there is drugs visible

3. If you are arrested for a Highway Traffic Act, Criminal Code, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charge(s) and the police seize your car.

4. If you consent to the search

Firearms and the Charter

In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) search warrants are being used more and more in investigations of gun possession. Often the search warrants are obtained when police officers are given information from confidential informants (usually citizens). A Justice of the Peace, usually hears the information and decides to grant or deny a search warrant for a particular place. Often, the police attend and find guns and drugs. Even if the search warrant should not have been provided the court may still admit the firearms and illegal drugs found from an illegal search.

Each case depends on its facts, the law, how police conducted their investigation and of course the decision maker. It is important to review all the evidence with your lawyer and provide any information (whether you think it is important or not), to defend your case.

Being a good blue jay fan ( remember a video is always on)

A fan of any sport or entertainment activity, has to pay for their ticket, and food, and be part of a great event. However, sometimes a fan gets over-excited or does not like the way the event is going, the calls that are being made or the other team’s players. This dude (99.9% times a guy)) full of alcohol decides to shake things up by throwing a can on the field, yell something racist, and ends up facing charges.Whether or not someone is hit, charges such as assault, assault with a weapon, public mischief can be in this dude’s future.

Remember a video or camera is always on somewhere.

Marihuana convictions

Still the police are still charging for possession and it is still a criminal conviction affecting future travel to the United States, work, being able to volunteer. Only time will tell if previous convictions will be wiped clean that has happened in San Francisco.

Store front dispensaries

It looks like July 2020 will see Ontario getting store front dispensaries. As I walk around Toronto, I see some clever dispensary names and smell a lot of marihuana being smoked on the streets. It is still illegal and those caught driving under the influence of marihuana or other drugs face the same penalties (fines, license loss, interlock and increased insurance) that those drinking and driving face.

Cannibis Culture

While we await the new legislation promised this summer, people will still be concerned about whether the dispensaries are legal. Unless you have a valid doctor’s prescription that has your name, date of birth, the daily quantity of marijuana (in grams) for 1 year, will allow you to obtain marijuana from a licensed supplier.

Until then, dispensaries not licensed, not following city by-laws may be raided often until they close down.

Medicinal marihuana

There is a lot of misinformation, especially when you see a dispensary on every corner. Unfortunately,
marihuana is still a controlled substance and possession of even a small amount, under 30 grams you can still be criminally charged especially if you are caught smoking while driving a motor vehicle or close to a grade or high school.

if your marihuana is packaged in smaller quantities you may be charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (intending to sell) and any money you have on you may be seized as proceeds of crime.

If you are smoking in your parents’ car, or at your house the police could seize the car or house even if you do not get charged.

In order to get proper documentation if you need marihuana for a medical condition do it properly. Here is the Health Canada website.


If you have any questions about your case please call 416-469-3443 or email if you have questions about your own case


After a trial and a finding of guilty and sentence, the defendent or the Crown Attorney can seek to appeal the finding of guilt or the sentence. Depending on whether the charges are summary or indictable, an appeal may be necessary.

Often a defendant will claim that the judge did not apply the correct law to the facts and or was sentenced far too harshly. The Crown can appeal an acquittal or a sentence that is lenient.

If a guilty plea was entered and the defendant did not understand the implication of entering a plea of guilt, the plea may be struck.

This is general advice only, please call our office at 416-469-3443 to discuss your case.

Presumption of Innocence

There is always discussions about the role of the criminal justice system and how the courts go about finding a defendant responsible for their alleged crimes.

Until a defendant enters an informed guilty plea – stating I understand that I have done what the Crown has said I have done, I do not wish to challenge the evidence and I understand that I will be punished, everyone charged is presumed innocent.

Is this to let scoundrels get off on a technicality – No. This is the system for everyone charged in Canada. Why is it so you ask?

Imagine that you live in a small town. No one likes you because you are different. One day the well is filled with old tires and no one can get any drinking water. You and your family were sleeping when it happened, but who do you think would get blamed first? That is right, you would and no one would believe you no matter what you said and how often you denied it.

Is that fair? So instead of making you prove why you are innocent – proving a negative. Someone in the community has to prove a positive – who did it. This can be done using pictures, statements from others who did or did not see what happened, finger prints, foot prints, what ever is needed.

At the end of the day, if there is evidence, showing almost 100% a stranger did it, you will be found not guilty.

Is that not a better system?