Ontario Criminal

Charter of Rights

Seizure of keys from accused valid exercise of power of search incident to arrest

Accused, charged with producing marijuana and possessing same substance for purpose of trafficking, applied for stay of proceedings or exclusion of evidence. Accused was arrested subsequent execution of search warrants on his home and two industrial units when he returned with his family to his residence while police were searching it. Police used keys found on accused to open industrial units where large 10,000 plus plant marijuana grow operations were found. Crown conceded that marijuana and oxycondone found in accused’s vehicle were found in violation of his Charter rights. Application dismissed. About 30 minutes before arrest, arresting officer saw three signed search warrants and, based on

those presumptively valid court orders, formed reasonable belief that accused had committed offence of producing marijuana. Before making arrest, officer searched main floor office in residence and found bills for place he believed contained marijuana grow lab. During pre-execution briefing, officer learned that target, accused, lived in house with his wife and child before accused entered home, officer did not hear doorbell or sound of knocking on door; when he heard noise, he looked over and saw accused at front door with woman and child. Seizure of keys from accused’s pocket was valid exercise of power of search incident to arrest.

R. v. Farrugia (Sep. 7, 2012, Ont. C.J., Kelly J., File No. 11-2516) 104 W.C.B. (2d) 1251.

cover image


Subscribers get early and easy access to Law Times.

Law Times Poll

Lawyers say that the federal justice minister’s response to recommendations by a House of Commons committee on how to improve legal aid in Canada is disappointing. Is more funding needed beyond what was promised in the recent federal budget?