Viewing entries posted in March 2016

Is Busting a "Drug Ring" the Best Way to Keep Calgary Safe?

Posted by Susan Karpa on 31 March 2016

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A recent headline proclaimed a big step forward in the Calgary Police's battle against recreational fentanyl in the Greater Calgary Area. According to CTV News, police have identified a "drug ring" in Calgary that received illegally manufactured fentanyl from a producer in British Columbia, and they expect this to help them reduce the amount of fentanyl available in our city.

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A Defence Lawyer's Thoughts on the Unjust "Logic" of Calgary's Gang Laws: Part 1

Posted by Susan Karpa on 29 March 2016

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The very word "gang" calls to mind a group of violent thugs looking to create conflict with the rest of their community. There is a sense of otherness, separation, and isolation and if we're honest an idea of "evilness": gangs are full of "bad guys" who oppose everything Calgary stands for, or so the thinking goes.

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Chemistry, the Law, and Your Calgary DUI: Part 2

Posted by Susan Karpa on 28 March 2016

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In Part 1 of this article, you read about the shifting impaired driving laws in Alberta that created a criminal DUI charge that isn't based on any other traffic infraction, reckless driving, or other behavior while behind the wheel. Instead, DUI charges in the Greater Calgary Area throughout the province are now defined through chemistry, creating a clear metric for laying an impaired driving charge.

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In Calgary, Assault May Be in the Eye of the Beholder

Posted by Susan Karpa on 24 March 2016

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The law defining simple assault in Calgary—and throughout Canada—includes making verbal threats of violence or physical gestures meant to intimidate through the suggestion of violence as actions that can warrant a criminal charge. In other words, you can be charged with assault without actually making physical contact with someone.

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This Calgary Defence Lawyer Thinks Drug Laws Need to Change

Posted by Susan Karpa on 23 March 2016

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Arrests and charges for simple drugs possession continue to keep law enforcement and courts busy throughout Canada, including in the Greater Calgary Area. Calgary Police make many arrests for drug-related charges, and hardly a week goes by without a news item relating to a drug bust or other law enforcement activity aimed at getting drugs off Calgary's streets.

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Chemistry, the Law, and Your Calgary DUI: Part 1

Posted by Susan Karpa on 21 March 2016

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The law is often full of gray areas, despite being written in black and white. If complex situations were governed by certain and indisputable laws, there would be little room for justice—or mercy, for that matter. If that weren't the case—if everything were cut and dry all the time, in every circumstance—there wouldn't be much room in the legal system for justice (or for mercy, for that matter).

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Complications Lead to DUI Dismissals in Alberta, But Not Calgary

Posted by Susan Karpa on 18 March 2016

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If you've been charged with impaired driving—commonly referred to as a DUI ("driving under the influence" charge)—you know how disruptive, debilitating, and downright scary this charge can be. It's all too easy for a simple error in judgement or a mistake made by law enforcement to result in an impaired driving charge, and that can lead to temporarily losing your vehicle, losing your driver's license for an indefinite period of time, and pending administrative or even criminal charges that can seriously impact your life.

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3 Things to Know When You're Charged With Assault in Calgary

Posted by Susan Karpa on 16 March 2016

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Charges of/suspicion for assault remain one of the most common reasons of arrest by the Calgary Police, and common assault cases can be heard nearly every day in the Calgary courts. It's not that Calgary is an especially violent city—in fact, compared to the rest of the world and even the rest of Canada, Calgary is very safe—but rather that the charge of "common assault" encompasses a great deal of behavior we might not typically consider violent or think of as an assault.

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Could an Assault Charge Prevent You From Driving for Uber/Lyft in Calgary?

Posted by Susan Karpa on 15 March 2016

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Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have had a hard time of things in Calgary, with the city initially barring such services due to concerns that drivers did not possess adequate insurance to cover themselves and their passengers when they were driving as part of their profession/employment rather than operating vehicles as private citizens.

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Public Safety and Calgary's Drug and DUI Laws

Posted by on 11 March 2016

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The belief that everyone accused of a crime in Calgary is entitled to a knowledgeable and vigorous defence is enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is central to my practice as a defence lawyer here in Calgary. No matter what someone is accused of, they deserve to be treated fairly and given a true chance to defend themselves, and my role as a lawyer is to make sure the criminal justice system affords my clients these rights.

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How Patent Law Led to a New And Dangerous Calgary Drug

Posted by on 9 March 2016

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Drug offences are unfortunately common in Calgary; though the scientific and medical communities are leaning more and more towards treating drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal justice problem, law enforcement—and the laws they enforce—have been slow to catch up. That's why we still see arrests and prosecutions for simple drug possession every day in Calgary.

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Calgary Lawyers and Your DUI Defence

Posted by on 7 March 2016

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Anyone who drives a vehicle on Calgary's roads is potentially at risk for receiving an impaired driving charge—what is commonly known as a DUI (driving under the influence). Due to Alberta's tough impaired driving laws, the Calgary Police and other law enforcement agencies have broad powers to detect and investigate suspected or potential DUIs, and through errors in police procedure, improperly calibrated equipment, and other issues, it is entirely possible for a perfectly innocent Calgary citizen to be caught up in the wide-flung DUI net.
Whatever the circumstances of your DUI charge, Alberta's laws also carry tough and sometimes automatic penalties; you can have your vehicle seized and even face an immediate license suspension from the moment you are arrested and/or charged with a DUI in Calgary, before you've even had a chance to provide a defence or tell your side of the story.

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3 Facts About Drug Charges Your Calgary Defence Lawyer Wants You to Know

Posted by Susan Karpa on 3 March 2016

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Though drug abuse is becoming increasingly seen as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue, drug offences remain among the most common type of criminal charge laid against Calgary citizens and tried in the Calgary courts. From marijuana charges to the recent spate of fentanyl arrests to charges related to the possession and/or trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamines, and more drugs are still a big part of the Calgary criminal justice system.

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A Defence Lawyer's Thoughts on Calgary Gangs

Posted by Susan Karpa on 1 March 2016

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Calgary has seen its fair share of gang-related violence—more than its fair share, according to some, though historically Calgary was and is one of the safest and least violent cities in the world. Since the end of the FOB and FK gang wars, which came to a close with the dismantling of both gangs in 2009, many thought Calgary's days of gang violence were over.

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