5. Regina v. M.D. [Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary – February, 2012]
M.D. was pulled over by a traffic cop for displaying an expired license plate. On the officers attendance at the driver’s door of the motor vehicle he allegedly detected the scent of fresh marijuana and placed M.D. under arrest. A subsequent warrantless search of the car failed to turn up any hint of marijuana but the officer did find 42 separate packages of cocaine in the center console as well as cash. To make matters worse the police seized a cell phone from the vehicle which was constantly ringing and contained text messages which (according to the police) were of a drug related nature. A Crown offer of two years imprisonment in exchange for a timely guilty plea to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking was rejected and the matter scheduled for trial. On the first day of trial we successfully challenged the admissibility of critical evidence on the basis of non-compliance with the service provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act rendering the prosecution incapable of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance in question was “cocaine”. Bottom line: at the conclusion of trial proceedings all charges against our client were dismissed.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.