Archive for September 22nd, 2014

How Does Bail Work?

You or someone you love has been arrested for a criminal offence. Quite likely your first question will be, how do I (or my loved one) get released from police custody? When you are arrested by a police officer he/she has a great deal of discretion as to how they will deal with you. He/She can choose to release you on a Promise to Appear (PTA), with or without an Undertaking, he/she can consent to your release by a Justice of the Peace, or he/she can seek to have you detained in custody until you appear in Court. If you are released on a PTA, without an Undertaking, you are obliged to appear in Court on the specified date and any subsequent dates as ordered by the Court. There is no requirement that you deposit cash bail or comply with any conditions. If you are released on a PTA with […]


R. v. Morelli, 2010 SCC 8

It is difficult to imagine a search more intrusive, extensive, or invasive of one’s privacy than the search and seizure of a personal computer. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.” This right has been commented on in many cases in all levels of Court from the Provincial Court of Ontario to the Supreme Court of Canada. One case which considered what privacy rights individuals enjoy in the content of a personal computer was R. v. Morelli. Mr. Morelli was charged with possession of child pornography and tried before the Superior Court of Ontario. At trial, his lawyers applied to exclude evidence which had been found on Mr. Morelli’s computer pursuant to a search warrant. The search warrant was based on the evidence of a technician who said that he made observations in Mr. Morelli’s home which […]


Exclusion of Evidence

When investigating crime, police officers are required to seek out evidence in support of their case. This is done in many ways including forensic evidence, eliciting confessions, and collecting witness statements. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms acts as a “check” on police conduct, ensuring that police investigations are conducted in a way that values all Canadians’ rights. The most commonly known right often infringed upon by police is the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, however, there are other equally important rights which must be protected including the right to silence, the right to be informed of reasons if detained, and the right to counsel. Where one of the rights protected by the Charter is violated (sometimes referred to as “infringed”) the accused can apply to exclude the evidence from his trial. The section of the Charter which applies to exclusion is 24: “(1) Anyone […]