Supreme Court


Criminal Law

Pre-trial procedure

Search without warrant

Totality of circumstances supported conclusion that arrest was lawful

Officer observed accused’s vehicle speeding and pulled him over. Officer saw police scanner above driver’s-side window visor and noticed that body of vehicle was higher than usual. When asked for his license and registration, accused checked his window visor and advised that he could not locate them. Officer requested that he check glove box, and while accused was leaning over saw money accused appeared to have been sitting on and unsheathed hunting knife next to driver-side door. Accused was arrested for possession of weapon dangerous to public peace and pat down search revealed bag of cocaine. Later strip search revealed more small bags of cocaine. voir dire was held on admissibility of evidence under section 8 and section 9 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Evidence was admissible and accused was convicted of possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace. Accused unsuccessfully appealed to Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal, which found that arrest was lawful. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. Arrest was lawful since arresting officer had reasonable and probable grounds to believe that accused had committed indictable offence. Totality of the circumstances, not mere presence of knife, supported trial judge’s conclusion that arrest was lawful.

R. v. Diamond (2016), 2016 CarswellNfld 422, 2016 CarswellNfld 423, 2016 SCC 46, Karakatsanis J., Wagner J., Gascon J., Côté J., and Brown J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2015), 2015 CarswellNfld 518, 2015 NLCA 60, B.G. Welsh J.A., M.F. Harrington J.A., and C.W. White J.A. (N.L. C.A.).

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