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Search Warrants in Drinking and Driving Cases - Legal Brief News

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search warrants for dui cases

Search Warrants for Bodily Fluids

In some drinking and driving cases, the police obtain a search warrant to obtain a sample of bodily fluids from the accused in order to submit them to be tested for the presence of alcohol or drugs.

In order to defend drinking and driving cases involving search warrants at a high level of expertise, a lawyer needs to develop a deep understanding of search warrants, how they can be issued and when the police do or do not have proper grounds for the warrant.

Searches by police must be reasonable.  This means that they must be authorized by law and among other things, carried out reasonably. A warrantless search that does not have constitutionally valid statutory authorization is presumptively unreasonable.  Additionally, even if there is a search warrant, the warrant itself must be issued according to law and carried out reasonably in order to be compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Sometimes police arguably carry out their searches in a way that is not compliant with the Charter, even if they have a warrant! A defence lawyer should know how to raise these issues in court and seek justice for the client.

It is difficult to challenge a search warrant. Most warrants are valid and will be upheld by the court.  They are issued by a Justice of the Peace or a Judge in the first place.  The test for challenging the issuance of a search warrant involves establishing that the issuing justice could not have validly issued the warrant in the first place.

Challenging a warrant is complicated and involves a number of issues including an evaluation of the contents of a sworn statement by a peace officer commonly known as the "Information to Obtain" ("ITO").  This ITO must contain sufficient information to support the decision to issue the warrant.  There are legal tests and requirements involved and an experienced and a knowledgeable defence lawyer will be able to assess those and provide advice on whether this aspect of the warrant is problematic for the prosecution.

When deciding who to hire as your defence lawyer we encourage you to ask questions and make sure you are hiring the right lawyer for you.

We recommend that you do not plead guilty to any criminal offence without first obtaining full and thorough disclosure from the Crown and hiring an experienced criminal lawyer to evaluate the investigation and provide you with a clear opinion about the strengths and weaknesses in the Crown case.

Call us for a free consultation.  Gerry is a Certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Criminal Law and has extensive formal training in search warrant issues and real courtroom experience dealing with challenges to search warrants.

The contents of any blog posts by any of the lawyers or staff at Graydon McGeachy Law LLP are not legal advice.  They are commentary only and should not be relied on and do not represent the views of the firm or any of the firm's clients.

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