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Calgary Criminal Law & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Chestermere man facing multiple drug charges

Officers with the Chestermere Royal Canadian Mounted Police initially arrested a 20-year-old Chestermere man following a traffic stop on Jan. 14. From evidence apparently gleaned during the stop, officers were then able to seek, obtain and then execute a search warrant on Jan. 15 at a Sandy Cove Beach home.

RCMP officers reported large amounts of marijuana and cash were seized, both from the home as well as from the suspect during his arrest. The man is facing several charges, including possession with intent to traffic in drugs, possession of a dangerous weapon and possession of property obtained through criminal means.

Understanding murder charges in Canada

People living in Canada may benefit from understanding more about the laws governing murder charges in their area. Murder may be also be referred to as culpable homicide. These offenses may be charged as first- or second-degree crimes. The Criminal Code describes first-degree murder charges as an offense that is both planned and deliberate. However, if a death occurs during the commission of certain crimes, the defendant may charged with first-degree murder even if there was no deliberation or planning involved.

Sentencing and eligibility for parole are often directly related to whether the defendant was convicted on a first- or second-degree charge. Because there is such a stark difference between first- and second-degree charges, people accused of murder typically benefit from obtaining legal counsel who are able to show that the evidence does not support the severity of the charges.

Alberta man arrested for drinking beer in traffic jam

A 41-year-old Alberta man was charged with drunk driving after another driver allegedly saw him consuming alcohol during a traffic jam near Barrie, Ontario, on Jan. 5. The incident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m.

According to Barrie Ontario Provincial Police, a woman notified authorities that she witnessed a man drinking beer in his car during a traffic backup caused by several weather-related motor vehicle accidents on southbound Highway 11, south of the Ninth Line. She told police the man also got out of his car and urinated on the side of the road.

Know more about the sentencing process in Alberta

How an individual is sentenced in Alberta depends on the type of offense committed as well as the type of punishment that an individual faces. For instance, if an individual is sentenced to less than two years in jail, a judge may allow the sentence to be served doing community service. If an individual is sentenced to pay a fine, the fine may be paid upfront or paid at a future date determined by a judge.

Prior to sentencing, a judge may ask for a pre-sentence report. It will be reviewed by a judge prior to any sentence handed down. To collect information for the report, the person charged with a crime as well as others who know that person may be interviewed. Depending on the type of crime that took place, there may be a victim surcharge added to the sentence, which helps to provide services for the victims of crime.

Preparing for a criminal trial in Alberta

When a person chooses to enter a not guilty plea to a criminal charge in Alberta, the court will then set a jury or court trial date on the person's behalf. When preparing to go to trial, there are a number of matters to which the person should attend.

People have a right to mount a defence to the criminal allegations against them. As part of the defence, they may wish to call witnesses. If a witness does not want to go to court, their attendance may be compelled by a subpoena issued by the court.

Offence levels in Alberta criminal courts

When a person in Alberta is accused of a criminal offence, he or she will be charged according to the offence level outlined by the law for the charged crime. In the province, offences may be charged in several different ways.

Summary conviction offences are those that are generally considered to be the least serious. They carry less punishment as a result, and they are most often heard in the Provincial Court. If a person is charged with a summary offence, he or she may elect to have someone else appear in court on his or her behalf.

Details of the Alberta interlock ignition program

Drivers who have been convicted of impaired driving in Alberta must take part in the Interlock Ignition Program. Drivers will be instructed to install the device for a set period, and they may not take it out until they have proven that they will not drive while impaired. In some cases, it may be possible to obtain an exemption that allows a driver to bypass participation in the program.

When asking for the exemption, those who have been convicted of a first offense with a blood alcohol content that was below 160 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood must explain why the exemption should be granted. In addition, the individual must include a valid blood alcohol reading. Furthermore, the driver must provide alternative actions that may be taken to ensure public safety during the disqualification period.

Sentencing guidelines for domestic assault charges

Alberta residents may be interested in some information about the sentencing guidelines for domestic assault charges. Depending on the factors present, the sentence may vary.

The policy of the Alberta courts is that crimes of domestic violence require general deterrence and a denunciation of the act, rather than a focus on individual rehabilitation. When a court is deciding on the sentence for domestic assault charges, there are some aggravating factors that influence the particular sentence handed down. These aggravating factors include whether the person assaulted was a spouse or child of the alleged assailant and whether there was an abuse of a position of trust.

Age of consent in Alberta and throughout Canada

>In Canada, the age of consent for most sexual activity is 16 years of age. However, in some cases, the age of consent may be higher or lower. For instance, the age of consent is 18 if the individual is being exploited or if the individual is in a relationship of dependency. Examples of a relationship of dependency include relationships with a teacher or a coach.

Those who are 14 or 15 years of age may have a sexual relationship with anyone who is not more than five years older than that person. This exception applies only if the relationship is not one built on trust, dependency or authority. If a minor is 12 or 13 years of age, a peer group exception applies to anyone who is not more than two years older than the minor.

4 detained for alleged involvement in Alberta drug trafficking

Authorities report that four men were detained for allegedly being involved in a drug trafficking ring that operates out of Grande Prairie. The group is accused of dealing drugs in the area and surrounding communities.

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams launched an investigation into the potential drug trafficking group in September and, with the help of Beaverlodge and Grande Prairie RCMP, executed search warrants on Nov. 13. They searched a Wembley home and four vehicles, reportedly finding more than $30,000 in cash and almost $9,000 worth of substances believed to be heroin and cocaine. The four vehicles they say were seized during the investigation were a Hummer, a Nissan Titan and two Dodge Rams. The money and vehicles are being forfeited to the Civil Forfeiture Office so that they can be used to support crime victims and policing initiatives.