Charter: Unreasonable Search and Seizure

Charter: Unreasonable Search and Seizure

Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure. Quite often, this right is infringed upon by law enforcement in order to justify illegal searches of people's houses, vehicles, or clothing in an attempt to find otherwise undiscoverable evidence. In the cases below, you can read about how the police will try to lie about where evidence is found, how it was obtained or why they searched in the manor they did, in order to circumvent our constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. As you can see from the sample of cases, Rusonik, O’Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham & Angelini, LLP hold the police and the judicial system accountable for these blatant breaches of our constitutional rights. ***Click on the case name in order to read the full judgment***

R v. D [2005] - This is a case where evidence of marijuana possession, weapons, breach of bail and obstructing police are excluded from evidence at trial resulting in an acquittal due to the illegal stop, search and questioning by a Peel police officer of a passenger in a motor vehicle without just cause. The Judge found that the police officer had lied about the fact that D did not have his seatbelt on in order to further an otherwise impermissible line of questioning.

R v. R [2005] - R was acquitted of possession of cocaine for the the purpose of trafficking after the Judge concluded that the officers had lied about whether R dropped a quantity of cocaine at his feet as officers approached him. The Judge found it more likely that the police illegally searched R's vehicle to locate the drugs and subsequently fabricated their story about how they obtained the evidence after his arrest to cover up their unlawful actions.

R v. S [2005] - Evidence of a loaded handgun was excluded from the evidence at trial after the Judge ruled that the gun was found as a result of an illegal search after the accused's arrest. The result of this ruling was that S was acquitted of all of his charges.

R v. F  [2005] - a drug possession case in which the evidence of cocaine found in the possession of F were excluded due to an illegal search by two Toronto Police officers.

R v. K [2005] - The evidence of a police officer was disbelieved by the Judge on the issue of whether the officer could see the bulge of a handgun in the waist area of K prior to searching him. The Judge concluded that K was likely searched illegally before the handgun was discovered. K was acquitted of being in possession of a handgun as a result of the Judge's ruling.

R v. P [2004] - P was acquitted of being in possession of cocaine after the Judge concluded that the police officer had lied when he testified that the drugs he found during the course of a traffic stop were located in plain view on the dashboard as he approached P's vehicle. The Judge found that the officer likely fabricated this story in order to disguise the unlawful search he conducted on her vehicle prior to locating the drugs.