R. v. L.G. [Alberta Court of Appeal, Calgary, April 2017]
L.G. retained Ms. Fagan to defend a Crown appeal from sentence. L.G. had been previously represented by other counsel (not Ms. Fagan). He had entered a guilty plea to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act – possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and received a conditional sentence order (i.e. a period of house arrest with no jail time). The police had conducted an investigation which culminated in the seizure of more than 4.5 kilograms of marijuana, a loaded handgun and nearly $100,000.00 in Canadian currency. L.G. had previously been convicted of the same offence and had already received a conditional sentence order. At the time he was arrested on the second set of charges he was bound by a condition not to possess any firearms. The Crown had argued at sentencing that L.G. should not receive a conditional sentence order because he had re-offended after his last conditional sentence order for the same criminal conduct. The sentencing Justice disagreed with the Crown and instead granted the conditional sentence order that was sought by L.G.’s lawyer. The Crown argued on appeal that the sentencing Justice had committed an error of law, that the sentence imposed was not a fit sentence and that it did not adequately address denunciation and deterrence. The Crown asked the Court of Appeal to instead impose a sentence of actual jail time. Ms. Fagan argued that it was a fit sentence and that the Court of Appeal should defer to the decision of the sentencing Justice.
BOTTOM LINE: Ms. Fagan successfully defending the Crown’s appeal and the Court of Appeal declined to interfere with the sentencing Justice’s decision to grant a conditional sentence order. In other words, L.G. did not have to go to jail and remained in the community.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.