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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, Pinkofskys 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. Dennis [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 Mr. Dennis did not have his seatbelt on in order to further an otherwise impermissible line of questioning. Counsel:

R v. Rachkovsky [2005] - Mr. Rachkovsky was acquitted of possession of cocaine for the the purpose of trafficking after the Judge concluded that the officers had lied about whether Mr. Rachkovsky dropped a quantity of cocaine at his feet as officers approached him. The Judge found it more likely that the police illegally searched Mr. Rachkovsky'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. Counsel: Christian Angelini

R v. Sivagurnathan [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 Sivagurnathan's arrest. The result of this ruling was that Mr. Sivagurnathan was acquitted of all of his charges. Counsel: Christian Angelini

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

R v. Kerr [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 Mr. Kerr prior to searching him. The Judge concluded that Kerr was likely searched illegally before the handgun was discovered. Mr. Kerr was acquitted of being in possession of a handgun as a result of the Judge's ruling.  Counsel: Nathan Gorham

R v. Palmer [2004] - Ms. Palmer 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 Ms. Palmer'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. Counsel: Nathan Gorham

R v. Hibbert [2003] - Evidence of cocaine located on Mr. Hibbert was excluded from evidence at his trial for drug possession after the Judge concluded that the cocaine was found during the course of an illegal arrest. Mr. Hibbert was acquitted as a result of the Judge's decision.  Counsel: Nathan Gorham

R v. Mattis [1998] - Evidence of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking was excluded from the evidence at trial on account of an improper strip search by police. Counsel: Reid Rusonik

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