R. v. P.J. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary, December 2017]

P.J. was charged in Chestemere with a number of charges relating to the alleged discharge of a firearm at a house party. Witnesses claimed that P.J. had been showing off a handgun and then had left the house following an altercation. Witnesses then claimed that P.J. then returned and discharged his firearm at a group outside the house multiple times. Bullets were found lodged in vehicles and homes in the residential neighborhood. P.J. was apprehended by police and charged with nine criminal charges including:

  • 91(1) of the Criminal Code – unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • 87 of the Criminal Code – pointing a firearm
  • 267(a) of the Criminal Code – assault with a weapon
  • 88 of the Criminal Code – possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace
  • 85(1)(a) of the Criminal Code – using firearm during commission of offence (which carries with it a mandatory jail sentence)
  • 90 of the Criminal Code – carrying concealed weapon

His bail hearing was initially held in Strathmore Provincial Court and he was ordered detained by the Provincial Court Judge because of fears that he was an endangerment to the public and that his release would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. (NOTE: Ms. Fagan was not his lawyer for the initial bail hearing where he was ordered detained). P.J. then retained Ms. Fagan to conduct a bail review hearing to argue for his release.

BOTTOM LINE: Ms. Fagan successfully established that the Provincial Court Judge had made an error and she obtained bail for P.J. on reasonable terms.

Patrick Fagan

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