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Viewing entries posted in April 2015
According to the Calgary Police, a crackdown on property crimes has led to the laying of more than one hundred charges, all from the arrest of fifteen people, between April 12 and April 21.
Property crimes, which include non-violent offences such as car thefts and breaking and entering, have been on the rise in Calgary compared to the five-year averages for the city. Police hope that this recent "crackdown" will help to reverse that trend, and have asked all Calgary residents to take care in locking doors and vehicles to help reduce property crimes.
Gang violence in Calgary has declined in recent years as the two major gangs in the region were pursued by law enforcement, and as increasingly effective and available social programs helped youths in many at-risk Calgary neighborhoods and families find better alternatives to joining a gang. This is an unquestionable good, for those who might be affiliated with gangs and for Calgary at large: violence helps no one, and doesn't defend justice.
Everyone deserves justice, and the full protection of their rights no matter what crimes they've been accused of. When it comes to Calgary citizens accused of gang-related crimes, this is more true than ever.
It's easy to make gang members look frightening or downright evil in the press. Few people realize how young and vulnerable most future gang members are when they first start to see gang life as an attractive option; having worked on numerous gang-related cases in my capacity as a Calgary defence lawyer, I am acutely aware that clients accused of gang affiliations want a secure and happy life as much as anyone in Calgary.
If you've been arrested for or charged with a drug offence in Calgary, your best chance at putting the charge behind you quickly and completely is partnering with an experienced criminal defence lawyer.
Just as Calgary Police, other law enforcement officers, and Crown prosecutors have extensive experience in gathering evidence and presenting cases to obtain convictions, defence lawyers have understanding and experience with the related laws and criminal justice procedures that can help mitigate punishments and in many cases settle cases without a criminal conviction. An experienced criminal defence lawyer may be able to mitigate the outcome of your drug offence case; though you are not required to partner with a lawyer, it can frequently lead to a better outcome and a less stressful ordeal.
Your defence against an impaired driving or DUI charge in Calgary begins the moment you are pulled over or otherwise contacted by law enforcement. Failing to comply with lawful requests for roadside sobriety tests, including a breath analysis of your blood alcohol content or BAC, is now a criminal offence in and of itself and can result in an automatic license suspension.
In some circumstances, you must also answer questions asked by Calgary Police officers or other law enforcement agents regarding your identity, and again, failing to do so can result in further legal trouble. Beyond these requirements imposed by standard criminal investigation procedures and Alberta's impaired driving laws, though, you have the right to refrain from providing any further information—including responding to any questions—before you have consulted with a Calgary criminal defence lawyer.
An off-duty officer of the Calgary Police Service was placed on seven-day paid leave following theft of a police department assault rifle from his personal vehicle.
According to the officer, the gun was taken from his Subaru, a non-departmental vehicle, while parked in front of a local Calgary business. The gun was in a locked hard case but was "improperly tethered" to the vehicle, allowing the theft to take place.
Part 1 of this article provides an overview of how DUI cases in Calgary originate with law enforcement, and the immediate consequence of license suspension that many Calgary drivers accused of impaired driving face.
No matter what the specifics of your initial engagement with Calgary law enforcement, and regardless of the outcome of your BAC analysis (if any), you defence against a DUI charge in Calgary begins the moment you are accused, arrested, or charged. Though every impaired driving case is different, everyone's next step should be the same.
There's a lot more to criminal defence law than many outsiders realize. It isn't just about keeping innocent people out of jail—though that's unquestionably an important part of the job—and it certainly isn't about preventing those guilty of serious crimes from facing any consequences (despite the way the job is often portrayed in movies and TV dramas).
Though the number of DUI charges laid in Calgary has been dropping steadily for several years, well over 1,000 drivers in the Calgary area are accused of an impaired driving offence each year. In the vast majority of these cases, drivers end up with at least a temporary license suspension, and many are left without the ability to legally get behind the wheel for extended periods of time.
2014's Calgary DUI numbers are in, and the news is definitely encouraging: there was more than a ten-percent decline in impaired driving charges laid in Calgary during 2014 when compared to 2013, continuing the steady decline in drunk driving incidents the city has seen in recent years.
Alberta's new DUI laws were passed into effect nearly three years ago, but they have been stirring up controversy ever since. Earlier this month, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Thomas Wakeling ruled on a challenge to the impaired driving law that asserted it was unconstitutional.
The specific arguments used in the case aren't especially important to the average Calgary citizen, but the result is: the law stands, and drivers are at the mercy of Calgary Police, Crown prosecutors and the Calgary courts. Though many Calgary citizens, including Calgary DUI defence lawyers, continue to believe there are serious problems with Alberta's impaired driving sanctions, protests have fallen on deaf ears and your rights might still be in jeopardy.
As radio host and news commentator Rob Breakenridge noted in a [recent opinion piece for the Calgary Herald], Alberta's DUI laws were a major issue in Calgary and throughout the province during the 2012 election. Strong opposition to the law was raised by the Wildrose Party, while other politicians vociferously defended it.