Ontario Criminal

Charter of Rights

Accused felt compelled to comply with demand for identification for fear of consequences

Crown appealed accused’s acquittal for two counts of breach of probation which occurred after exclusion of evidence. Accused was one of two passengers in vehicle stopped by R.I.D.E. program. Officer asked passengers for identification. He checked identification through CPIC and found accused was under probation condition not to possess nor consume alcohol. Officer determined accused had been drinking and charged him with breach. Since officer admitted he had no idea of any offence having been committed, trial judge found there were no grounds for detention, and therefore it was “arbitrary”. Trial judge found seizure of accused’s birth certificate to be warrantless seizure without reasonable cause. Trial judge found search to be in contravention of s. 8 of Charter, and that there were ss. 9 and 10(b) breaches. Trial judge found that officer explained that every person in every car was queried on CPIC which jurisprudence stated was clear Charter breach. Appeal dismissed. Court found no error in finding that officer’s request for identification was commencement of detention. It was reasonable to conclude that accused felt compelled to comply with demand for his identification for fear of physical consequences. Trial judge’s expressed concern of seriousness of police conduct was to be given great deference. Crown conceded that courts had consistently disapproved of using highway traffic stops for general investigative activities.

R. v. Dale (Jun. 16, 2013, Ont. S.C.J., Timothy D. Ray J., File No. 12-0383) Decision at 103 W.C.B. (2d) 500 was affirmed.  108 W.C.B. (2d) 613.

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