Engel and Associates

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Search and Seizure - Engel and Associates

Many of us have had the experience of seeing those famous blue lights flashing in our rearview mirror. When a police officer pulls you over or approaches you on the street, he is going to be naturally suspicious of anything and everything; he may even ask to search you or your car. You may be unsure about whether the absence of a warrant protects you from police interference in your life. Searches and Seizures in CanadaIn Canada, police searches and seizures are governed by statute. The Charter of Rights And Freedoms states that “everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure”; the law tries to strike a balance between the interests of government and the privacy of the individual, stating that an individual’s rights should not be invaded without the most compelling of reasons.

Search and Seizure Without a Warrant

The Criminal Code grants officers the power to search and seize contraband without a warrant in certain situations where it would be impractical to obtain one. However, the police must be acting within the course of their duties, and the legal criteria for obtaining a warrant must be met. The Code also grants police the power to seize and materials or items if there are reasonable grounds to believe that those items have been obtained by or used in the commission of an offense. In addition, if evidence is in immediate danger of being destroyed or disposed of, the Code provides clearance for police to conduct their search and obtain evidence without use of a warrant. It is considered contrary to the fundamental principles of law to allow wrongdoers to destroy evidence when it could have been prevented.Courts in Ottawa also recognize that police have the power to search someone who has been lawfully arrested. Police may also have the power to search once valid consent is given. In addition, an investigating officer may seize evidence that is in his or her plain view.

Search And Seizure Defense Attorneys

If you are facing drug charges or other charges that arose from a search and seizure by police, you will likely benefit from the assistance of a search and seizure lawyer, someone who is well-versed in this complicated area of law. A qualified defense attorney can help ask the right questions about arrest procedures and exactly how evidence was gathered in your case. An experienced search and seizure attorney will be able to take action to defend your rights, and may even be able to protect you from costly fines, jail time, and damage to your permanent record. Bruce Engel has more than two decades of experience in criminal law, including cases involving search and seizure issues. He is committed to the highest standards in criminal defense and client satisfaction. The Law Offices of Bruce Engel handle many types of criminal defense in Ottawa and the surrounding communities. He is located at 116 Lisgar St. Suite 210 Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2, and he may be reached by calling (866) 762-9250.