Viewing entries posted in January 2015

Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 7

Posted by Susan Karpa on 30 January 2015

This is the final article in a series detailing the development and current state of all Canadians' right to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, whether or not they are under suspicion of criminal activity. It deals specifically with three recent rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the use of technology by law enforcement and defining Canadians' right to privacy on their own electronic devices such as computers and cell phones; these decisions can inform the defence against criminal charges presented in Calgary courts.

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Your Two Best Defences Against a Calgary DUI Charge

Posted by Susan Karpa on 28 January 2015

A DUI in Calgary can lead to administrative penalties—fines, the loss of your driver's license, and more—as well as criminal charges if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is over a certain limit. For repeat DUI offences, the penalties grow even more severe. There are some very simple defences against charges of driving under the influence available to everyone in Calgary—defences that can help you get back on track faster, and ideally avoid any risk of a DUI charge at all.

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Criminal Defence All of Calgary Can Appreciate

Posted by Susan Karpa on 27 January 2015

A lot of folks in Calgary—and everywhere else—have the wrong idea about criminal defence lawyers and what their job entails. The way things are presented on TV, in films, and sometimes in news stories, it can seem like there's an "us vs. them" mentality, with law enforcement and prosecutors on one side and criminal defence lawyers on the other.

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Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 6

Posted by Susan Karpa on 26 January 2015

This article deals with cases heard by the Supreme Court of Canada that have helped shaped rules and laws regarding law enforcement searches and seizures during criminal investigations and arrests. For a full (yet brief) look at the history of Canada's laws against unreasonable search and seizure, from the Magna Carta to the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, please see the previous installments of this article series: [Part 1], [Part 2], [Part 3], [Part 4], [Part 5].

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Compassion is Key for Calgary DUI/DWI Defence Lawyers

Posted by Susan Karpa on 20 January 2015

Let's face it: an arrest by Calgary Police or other area law enforcement for a DUI-related charge is a big deal. A defence lawyer can be a tremendous asset following a DUI/DWI charge, and not just because lawyers can offer more comprehensive legal knowledge and greater experience discussing evidence and negotiating with law enforcement agencies and Crown prosecutors. One of the ways Calgary defence lawyers can help the most is by offering the compassion and understanding needed by persons accused of driving under the influence.

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Can Calgary's Coffers Support Cyber-Crime Defence?

Posted by Susan Karpa on 19 January 2015

With a department already facing a heavy workload and a growing number of cases pouring in daily, the Cybercrime Support Team—a unit within the Calgary Police Service—has raised concerns about its effectiveness in identifying and pursuing targets for criminal investigations related to online and computer-assisted crimes.

"Our cyber-crime area is already stretched to the limit because the use of technology to commit crimes...is continuing to grow," said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson in an interview with the national news service Metro.

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Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 5

Posted by Susan Karpa on 16 January 2015

Previous articles in this series have detailed the development of Canada's law against unreasonable searches and seizures from the time of the Magna Carta to the Elizabethan Age and the dawn of the Modern Era through to the American Revolution. These major milestones, while important, still didn't bring Canadian law to its modern stance on the matter, nor did they anticipate the significant technological advances of the coming centuries that would be cause for entirely new appraisals of what constituted an "unreasonable search" by law enforcement as they conducted criminal investigations, and what defence private citizens had when it came to these intrusions.

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Arrested for a DUI in Calgary? A Defence Lawyer May be Able to Help

Posted by Susan Karpa on 15 January 2015

Let's face it: most DUI/DWI arrests made in Calgary are 100% avoidable. Don't drink alcohol or take drugs—including many kinds of prescription drugs—before getting behind the wheel of your car, and the odds that you'll be pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated are virtually non-existent. You've heard it before, but it bears repeating each and every time the issue comes up: your best defence against a DUI/DWI is not to get behind the wheel when you're even the tiniest bit impaired.

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Defending Calgary's People, Not Criminal Cases

Posted by Susan Karpa on 14 January 2015

From the outside in, and maybe even from reading some of the legal information articles on this site, it might seem like a criminal defence lawyer leaves little room for humanity. Full of rules, numbers, that special brand of legal logic and the calculations of justice, criminal defence can seem to have forgotten those being defended.

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Drug Possession Arrests in Calgary and Your Legal Defence

Posted by Susan Karpa on 12 January 2015

As discussed in previous articles, drug use is increasingly seen in Canada and throughout the world as a public health issue rather than a matter of pure criminality. Drug offence arrests and prosecutions have been declining in Calgary for the past several years, in keeping with this trend (and with the overall decline in crime Calgary has been experiencing), but law enforcement still makes plenty of drug-related arrests every year. If you're the one detained or charged by Calgary Police with a drug offence, trends and statistics probably don't offer much in the way of reassurance.

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Drug Court Cuts Calgary Arrests, Creates Hope

Posted by Susan Karpa on 8 January 2015

Founded with the help of now Assistant Chief Judge Jim Ogle in 2007, Calgary's Drug Treatment Court has always operated on a tight budget yet has nonetheless shown a tremendous capability to reduce drug crimes amongst the program's graduates. University of Alberta researchers tracked more than twenty recent participants in this drug crime diversion program, all long-term drug users committing daily crimes to maintain their drug habits, and found that 68% had no new criminal charges or convictions two years their completion of the Drug Treatment Court program. Amongst all graduates, criminal convictions went from 794 prior to participation to only 48 after.

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Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 4

Posted by Susan Karpa on 7 January 2015

English Common Law has recognized a certain right to privacy and freedom from government intrusion as important features of a just society since at least the early 13th century, yet these principles didn't begin to take their modern forms with law enforcement officers, courts, and the criminal justice system until the era of the New World discovery and colonization. The freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures enjoyed by those in present-day Calgary, and the ability to cite unreasonable and unlawful searches as effective parts of a criminal defence, took time to develop as the British Empire became more widespread and ultimately more democratic.

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Police Searches and Criminal Defence in Canadian Law: Part 3

Posted by Susan Karpa on 6 January 2015

In previous articles, we've seen how the recent ruling by Supreme Court on cell phone searches by law enforcement is part of a long line of legal thinking regarding government searches and personal privacy that stretches back at least as far as the Magna Carta and which became more prominent during the Elizabethan Era. When the eighteenth century rolled around, the Enlightenment set about revolutionizing political thought and things like law enforcement, citizens, privacy, and defence against government intrusion took on a form that modern residents of Calgary might recognize.

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Stop Gang Related Charges Without a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer

Posted by Susan Karpa on 6 January 2015

If you or a family member is already facing charges in Calgary courts for a gang-related criminal offence, a criminal defence lawyer with full knowledge of the law and experience handling cases like yours can most likely be of substantial help. The courts and Canadian law recognize the significance of having a lawyer by your side, and you are entitled to consult with a criminal defence lawyer from the moment you are arrested or charges are laid.

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A Defence Lawyer's Look at Calgary Crime in 2014

Posted by Susan Karpa on 5 January 2015

Calgary—and Canada—saw more than its fair share of crime-related headlines this year. From the incident in Ottawa to local tragedies, we Calgarians have been given plenty of opportunity to focus on people running afoul of the law.

That isn't the whole story, though, and in fact 2014 has been a pretty good year for Calgary as far as crime is concerned:

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