R. v. S.C. [Court of Queen’s Bench, Calgary, December 2016]
S.C. was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped just outside of Lake Louise. The police claimed to have stopped the vehicle because they could not see if the passenger, who was reclined, was wearing his seatbelt properly. The police ultimately formed the ostensible grounds to search the vehicle and found a hockey bag with 30 pounds of marijuana in it. The police arrested the driver and S.C. and when the searched S.C. they discovered a vial of hash oil in his pocket. S.C. was charged, among other things, with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Ms. Fagan filed an extensive Charter notice alleging breaches of her client’s rights including his right to full disclosure; that the initial traffic stop was arbitrary; that the questioning of her client amounted to a unlawful search and that the search of the vehicle was warrantless and unreasonable.
BOTTOM LINE: Weeks before trial the Crown, seeing the strength of the Charter arguments, entered a stay of proceedings (i.e. withdrew) all charges against S.C.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.