Viewing entries posted in December 2014

Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 2

Posted by Susan Karpa on 29 December 2014

This is Part 2 in an article series discussing the development and current state of your rights under Canadian law to remain free from unreasonable searches and property seizures. For Part 1, click here.

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Don't Ruin Your Holiday with a Calgary Area DUI/DWI Checkstop

Posted by Susan Karpa on 26 December 2014

Calgary uses checkstops throughout the year to catch drunk drivers and to discourage people from driving while intoxicated, and this time of year the efforts ramp up significantly—not just in Calgary but throughout Alberta. The holiday season is unfortunately also a season of high rates of drunk driving and high rates of DUI/DWI charges laid by the Calgary police, with as many as one-quarter of all intoxicated driving charges laid in December resulting from daytime or evening checkstops. Law enforcement throughout the Calgary area will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers in an attempt to keep everyone safe, so be sure to make responsible choices while driving this holiday season.

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Criminal Defence and the Holiday Spirit

Posted by Susan Karpa on 23 December 2014

To the untrained eye, there might not be much about being a criminal defence lawyer that seems to embody the holiday spirit. The supposed cynicism that comes with a career in the legal world might seem to negate all of the "peace on Earth and goodwill towards men" sentiments that abound during Christmas time, especially in a city as boisterous about the holidays as Calgary.

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Calgary Law Enforcement Searches and Your Criminal Defence Case

Posted by Susan Karpa on 22 December 2014

All residents of Calgary and of Canada as a whole are afforded a certain right to privacy that prevents law enforcement agents and other government officials from performing "unreasonable" searches of your personal property. In some cases, these rights are very black-and-white; in order to search through your private residence for evidence of a crime, for instance, Calgary police or other law enforcement agents would need to present evidence that they have a valid grounds to believe that they will find evidence there, and they need to get a judge to agree and issue a search warrant.

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Cell Phone Evidence and Your Calgary Criminal Defence Case

Posted by Susan Karpa on 22 December 2014

If you've glanced at a newspaper or caught the news on TV in the past few days, you've likely seen something about the recent Supreme Court ruling that deemed it legal for police officers and other law enforcement agents in Canada to search suspects' cell phones without a warrant. Misunderstandings and speculation regarding this ruling are running rampant, despite the fact that the direct practical implications remain to be seen, so some straight talk from an experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer might provide some useful insight.

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Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 1

Posted by Susan Karpa on 16 December 2014

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court has created a lot of buzz in the law enforcement and criminal defence worlds, and with good reason. The Court's decision has far-reaching implications for what constitutes a reasonable search under Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, allowing police throughout Canada—including the Calgary Police and all area RCMP divisions—to search criminal suspects' cell phones immediately upon arrest, without a warrant or any other approval from a judge.

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Impaired Driving Info from a Calgary DUI/DWI Criminal Defence Lawyer

Posted by Susan Karpa on 15 December 2014

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The number one suggestion any Calgary DUI/DWI criminal defence lawyer—or anyone else, for that matter—can offer when it comes to drinking and driving is simple: don't do it. Avoiding impaired driving is easy and will keep you and those around you safe when it comes to your physical well-being. It also, of course, offers the greatest legal protection against impaired driving offences and will help keep you on the roads and out of court.

Most drivers in Calgary don't need a lawyer's advice to know that drinking (or drug use) and driving is a dangerous mix that is best avoided at all costs. DUI/DWI remains a relatively common cause for arrest and for charges throughout the Calgary area, however, so clearly the message isn't sinking in for everyone. So just in case you're one of those drivers who thinks getting behind the wheel while intoxicated isn't always a bad idea, here's some information that might change your mind.

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One Calgary Lawyer's Approach to Criminal Defence

Posted by Susan Karpa on 12 December 2014

Some areas of the law are fairly black and white, and successful performance as a lawyer means understandings the intricacies and the ins and outs of the law itself—a knowledge of facts and the ability to apply those facts to a given situation. Criminal defence involves this kind of knowledge and understanding, too, but there's a lot more to it, as well. Successful criminal defence cannot be defined in purely legal terms, but must also weigh the human components of every charge and every defence case.

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Calgary Police and Keeping Crime Rates Low

Posted by Susan Karpa on 10 December 2014

There's been a lot of news lately regarding changes to the Calgary police force and the way they go about detecting and investigating crimes (and alleged crimes).

New technologies for facial recognition. New budgets that make for slower growth in the ranks of Calgary police officers. New approaches to youth intervention and prevention leading to reduced crime and gang membership. And all the while, Calgary's already low crime rate has continued to fall.

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Calgary Police Get 10 More Crime Fighters from City Budget

Posted by Susan Karpa on 3 December 2014

Budget tightening has become a way of life in Calgary over the past few years, but the police force has often risen above the cuts. The next four-year budget plan, however, still being debated by the Calgary city council, will only provide the Calgary Police ten more officers.

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