Supreme Court


Criminal Law

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Charter remedies [s. 24]

Police entry into accused’s residence was not justified by exigent circumstances?

Officers saw handguns and drugs in plain view after being invited into apartment, and obtained search warrant. Trial judge concluded that police had grounds to obtain search warrant and since it was impracticable to obtain search warrant exigent circumstances under s. 11(7) of Controlled Drugs and Substances Act existed. Accused was convicted of possession of drugs, possession for purpose of trafficking, and unlawful possession of firearms. Accused’s appeal on ground that trial judge erred in admitting evidence was dismissed. Accused appealed to Supreme Court of Canada. Appeal allowed. Police entry into the accused’s residence not justified by exigent circumstances making it impracticable to obtain warrant. Nature of Charter-infringing state conduct was sufficiently serious to favour exclusion of evidence obtained as a result. Importance of ensuring that such conduct is not condoned by court favoured exclusion. If situation was not serious enough to arrest and apply for warrant, then not serious enough to intrude into private residence without warrant. ?

R. v. Paterson (2017), 2017 CarswellBC 687, 2017 CarswellBC 688, 2017 SCC 15, 2017 CSC 15, McLachlin C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Wagner J., Gascon J., and Brown J. (S.C.C.); reversed (2015), 2015 CarswellBC 1256, 2015 BCCA 205, Lowry J.A., Frankel J.A., and Bennett J.A. (B.C. C.A.).

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