Distracted driving fine should be…wait for it…HIGHER?!

Toronto criminal lawyer Graham Clark says the government’s plan to reintroduce a bill that would boost the maximum fine for distracted driving to $1,000 is by no means “draconian” and may not even go far enough as a deterrent. “To the extent that the statistics relied upon are correct, showing distracted driving as a problem comparable to impaired … Continue Reading →

Senator Charged – Accountability Next?

OTTAWA – The RCMP laid 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery against suspended Sen. Mike Duffy on Thursday. The charges involve Duffy’s claims for living expenses, claims for travel expenses unconnected with Senate business and fraudulent contracts, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud. They also cover the $90,000 Duffy allegedly received from … Continue Reading →

A jail sentence for a first impaired driving offence?

A jail sentence for a first impaired driving offence is “extraordinary,” but in some circumstances incarceration would be on the table, Toronto criminal lawyer Graham T. Clark tells the Toronto Star. He makes the comment in a newspaper article about a police officer who pleaded guilty to one charge of impaired driving. A judge suspended his licence for a … Continue Reading →

Impact from victims bill of rights unclear

Impact from victims bill of rights unclear: Clark Toronto criminal lawyer Graham Clark says it remains unknown whether the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights will actually result in complainants becoming more involved in the court process. “It’s unclear at this point as to what kind of difference this can actually make,” he tells CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning. – … Continue Reading →

Manitoba judges allow cameras in court

Manitoba judges allow cameras in court Manitoba will start routinely allowing TV cameras in its courtrooms for select hearings. Chief Justice Glenn Joyal says there will be designated courtrooms where it is presumed that everything will be broadcast. He says lawyers are welcome to argue against having a camera in court but the assumption is … Continue Reading →

Officers confident they’d get away with beating man

Defence lawyers have to work pretty hard before judges will find police officers guilty of assaulting a suspect in custody – as happened in a Toronto court, says Toronto criminal lawyer Graham Clark. Justice Donna Hackett ruled recently that four police officers assaulted a Toronto man in custody and used excessive force that breached his Charter rights, according … Continue Reading →

Rowbotham no longer used in exceptional cases

“Rowbotham no longer used in exceptional cases” was published on  at http://advocatedaily.com/2014/01/rowbotham-no-longer-used-in-exceptional-cases/ Bonus comment: So 13% of your legal fees get paid straight back to the government as HST that your lawyer has a duty to collect and remit. The government does not just use those funds to try to put you in jail. The money … Continue Reading →

Does dishonesty come naturally to politicians, or is it honest ‘cognitive dissonance’?

Ontario Court of Justice Judge Westman recently commented publically on the new mandatory victim surcharge. His critique includes the concern that doing justice is distinct from collecting taxes for the government. The surcharge seems like a tax because it must be imposed on every single conviction irrespective of the accused’s ability to pay or even … Continue Reading →

Cyberbullying bill…

The Minister suggests that increased police powers – including enhanced powers to catch cable thieves – would have prevented the deaths of teenagers Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd. Is the government grandstanding on the complicated tragedy of teen suicides to justify a bill with many potent features that have nothing to do with cyberbullying? See … Continue Reading →

“Cavernous disconnect” dooms tough-on-crime law

In R. v. Nur, 2013 ONCA 677, the mandatory minimum penalty under Criminal Code section 95 was found to offend section 12 of the Charter which protects against cruel and unusual punishment. The law as drafted forced taxpayers to finance 3 years of incarceration for people who literally pose no threat to anyone: the section … Continue Reading →