Charter Cases: Section 8: Search & Seizure

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43

The accused, Matthew David Spencer, was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography as a result of a police investigation using Limewire, an anonymous peer-to-peer file sharing software. Upon discovering an IP address which appeared to be the source … Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Vu, 2013 SCC 60

The accused, Thanh Long Vu, was suspected of electricity theft. Police obtained a warrant to search his home, but made no mention in the Information to Obtain that computers might be seized and searched. In the course of the search, a marijuana grow operation was discovered, and evidence obtained from the search of a computer was used to connect Vu with allegations of marijuana production and electricity theft. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. MacKenzie, 2013 SCC 50

Benjamin Cain MacKenzie was subject to a traffic stop, during which police developed a suspicion that he was trafficking drugs. The factors pointed to by the officers on the scene were Mr. MacKenzie’s “erratic manner of driving, high level of nervousness, the pinkish hue of his eyes, his course of travel and contradictory answers on his travel dates.” Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Chehil, 2013 SCC 49

The accused, Mandeep Singh Chehil, aroused the suspicion of police when he booked a one-way overnight flight from Vancouver to Halifax, travelling alone, paying cash for his ticket at the last minute, and checking one bag. Considering all of these factors, the police developed “reasonable suspicion” that Mr. Chehil was trafficking drugs and presented his checked bag to a sniffer dog. When the dog gave a positive indication for the presence of drugs, police opened the bag and discovered three kilograms of cocaine. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. TELUS Communications Co., 2013 SCC 16

The telecommunications carrier, Telus, kept a backup of all text messages sent over its wireless network, potentially allowing customers to recover messages which had been accidentally deleted. Police had obtained a general warrant to access this database for the purpose of an investigation involving two Telus subscriber. Telus applied to quash the warrant, arguing that it is unlawful to intercept a private communication without specific wiretap authorization under Section VI of the Criminal Code. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Boyd, 2013 BCCA 19

The Appellant, Craig Boyd, was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking after a search of his vehicle resulting from a police road block. The officer who stopped his vehicle apparently smelled an odour of burnt marijuana, then placed Mr. Boyd under arrest. The search of the vehicle upon arrest yielded a plastic bag, containing four smaller plastic bags of cocaine. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Aucoin, 2012 SCC 66

The Appellant had been detained for two Motor Vehicle Act offences, namely using a license plate that was not registered to his vehicle and exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit. While detained, Aucoin was subject to a search which resulted in the finding of ecstasy and cocaine. He was convicted of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53

The accused was a high school teacher who was allowed to use a school-owned laptop computer for personal use. A technician tasked with maintaining the computer on behalf of the school discovered nude photographs of an underage female student on the hard drive. He turned the computer over to the school principal who subsequently turned it over to police. The issue was whether the accused had a reasonable expectation of privacy in regard to the contents of the laptop, whether his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure had been infringed, and whether the evidence should be excluded under Section 24(2) of the Charter. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Nagle, 2012 BCCA 373

The BC Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal of Jennifer Nicole Nagle on a charge of possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, ruling that travelers leaving Canada can be searched in much the same way as travelers entering Canada. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 10(b): Right to Counsel, Section 10: Rights on Arrest, Section 8: Search & Seizure

R. v. Bacon, 2012 BCCA 323

This decision involved analysis of the principles articulated in R. v. Grant, and their application to a suspected gang leader whose vehicle proved to contain a number of prohibited and restricted firearms. Continue reading

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Filed under Section 24: Enforcement of Rights, Section 8: Search & Seizure