Daniel Brown Law
In Canada, every citizen enjoys the right to be free from unreasonable police searches and the right not to be stopped and detained by the police without a valid reason. Despite these protections, Canadian citizens -especially those from minority groups- are constantly subjected to arbitrary police stops and illegal searches of their homes, vehicles and personal property.
When the police obtain evidence through the violation of a person's constitutional rights, the Court may conclude that any evidence obtained from the illegal stop or search should not be admitted in the accused person's trial. This is a special type of application brought before the judge at trial called a "Charter challenge" -referring to the constitutional protections found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I have argued several successful charter challenges resulting in the exclusion of evidence in drug cases on the basis that the police lacked a valid reason to stop and search the person leading to the discovery of the drugs. Some examples of these Charter challenges in drug possession cases can be found on my Recent Successes page.
Even if the police have a valid warrant issued by a judge to search a specific location where drugs are later found, it may be possible to challenge to basis for issuing the warrant. If the judge on review finds that the officers who obtained the warrant relied upon unreliable or inaccurate information in their application to obtain the warrant, the warrant may be ruled invalid and the results of the search warrant may be excluded from the evidnce at trial. It most cases, a successful motion to invalidate a search warrant will result in a finding of "not guilty".