Monday, February 25, 2019

Can You Lawfully Film the Police?

The invention of smartphones and portable video recording devices have changed our lives. More than ever, information can now be easily shared online, either recorded on devices or streamed using devices. This has been proven helpful in recent cases where police acted overly harsh or when they were unexpectedly brutal. The question is, is it legal to film the police when they are making an arrest or performing their duty?

To Film or Not to Film

There have been cases when police threaten to seize the phones of people filming them such as in the case of the Toronto police who tasered a man near Ryerson University. In that case, a letter carrier was walking with his wife and saw the police arresting a man. He promptly started recording when he saw a police officer kicking the man while the man was being restrained. The police then told the letter carrier that they will seize his phone as evidence. Note that the police cannot lawfully do that as videotaping without interfering is not prohibited by any law. The person videotaping the incident did nothing wrong.

In fact, videotaping the police in the performance of their duty can be a huge help in documenting the circumstances of an arrest or a pursuit. Some police have started wearing body cameras for their own protection too so that suspects cannot claim events that did not transpire.

The Real Deal
To be clear, you may videotape a police interaction provided that you do not interfere with the police while they are performing their duty. It is best to keep a safe distance away and to comply with officers’ reasonable requests.

If you got in trouble for videotaping police officers, then be sure  contact a defence lawyer as soon as possible. Save any recordings and have a criminal defence lawyer like Calvin Barry look into your case to build your best defence. Calvin Barry Law can help, but you need to act fast and act smart too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Calvin Barry is Proud to Support Cops for Cancer

Calvin Barry is proud to support Andrew Stewart in his fundraiser drive for Cops for Cancer. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support cancer research, programs, advocacy and other areas where it’s needed most.
Cops for Cancer was created from the idea of one man and has grown into an inspirational force engaging police officers and other emergency services and their communities in the fight against cancer.
Police and emergency services personnel continue to help drive the Cops for Cancer program by organizing events throughout the province. The events range from head shaves to participating in bike rides such as Pedal for Hope to organizing various school-based fundraising activities.
To support Andrew’s goal of $19,000, please visit his donation page here. Whether you donate $25 or $2,500, every amount helps: 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Here’s What to Do If You’ve Been Charged with Drug Possession

It is no doubt scary to be charged with drug possession. Like the thousands of people who find themselves charged with drug possession offence, you may be confused, unsure what to do, or worried about your future. A drug possession charge is tricky because even carrying minute amounts for personal use is tantamount to a charge, same as carrying small amounts of certain drugs can be considered contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act if you cannot provide proof of prescription or proof that you bought from a licensed producer.

Understanding Drug Possession

Drug possession is charged under the CDSA or the controlled Drugs Substances Act and not under the Criminal Code of Canada. As a CDSA offence, drug possession is prosecuted not by the Provincial Crown but by the Federal Crown. It is defined as:

  • A person has the drug in his possession
  • A person knowingly has the drug in the custody or possession of another person
  • A person has the drug in a place that may or may not be occupied or owned by him
  • Drug is found in the custody of several people who are aware of the presence of such drug

Drug possession can then fall under personal possession, constructive possession, and joint possession.

Punishment for Drug Possession

The punishment for a charge of drug possession varies based on the quantity and type of drug involved. First offence may mean a fine of a thousand dollars and 6 months imprisonment for summary conviction. The fines and prison stay get worse for subsequent offences. If the Crown chooses to go for indictment, it can mean incarceration of up to 7 years. Your defence lawyer can further explain what penalties you might face based on the details of your charge.

Know that every detail counts if you’ve been charged with drug possession. To protect your rights and make sure that you get the best defence, be sure to contact Calvin Barry if you’re looking for a drug possession lawyer to fight for you. Calvin Barry Law’s solid track record will give you the edge you need to get your life back on track and avoid mistakes that can cost you your freedom or your future.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Can You Get a Pardon for an Impaired Charge?

There is no doubt that a charge of impaired driving is a serious offence with equally profound consequences; however, since impaired driving offences are also the most common types of offences charged under the Criminal Code, those who’ve had a conviction can apply for a possible record suspension or a pardon.

What is a Pardon or a Record Suspension?

Getting a record suspension or a pardon for driving under the influence does not mean that the conviction is erased from all records, it only means that the conviction record is set aside to be accessible only under certain situations or circumstances.

Living with a Criminal Record

Having a criminal conviction for driving under the influence or impaired driving means a person was caught red-handed operating a vehicle with more than 80 mgs of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. In most cases, nobody is hurt and yet the convicted individual face life-long consequences having difficulty obtaining property, getting employed, or even traveling. To have a fruitful life after conviction, a record suspension or a pardon is definitely something worth looking over.

Getting a Record Suspension

Qualifying for a record suspension in Canada for a criminal driving offence means you must meet 3 conditions, namely:

  • You have completed your sentence including restitution, compensation, surcharges, and fines.
  • You must complete the full waiting period required after completing your sentence which is 10 years for a conviction of an indictable offence and 5 years for conviction of a summary offence.
  • You must have no new convictions and must be on good behavior.

Once you meet all the above, you may proceed with your application with the help of a criminal lawyer. Although there are cases wherein you can do this on your own, consulting a lawyer will minimise errors and generally result in a favourable outcome because a lawyer will review your eligibility and help you compile needed documents.

If you or someone you know wants to apply for a pardon for an impaired charge, contact Calvin Barry for consultation. If you’re facing an impaired driving charge, Calvin Barry is the lawyer of choice in Toronto!

Monday, January 28, 2019

What You Have to Know About Public Mischief in Canada

It isn’t uncommon to hear about people who make false accusations, file false cases, or lie to the police during investigations. People do this as a defence mechanism, as a way to divert attention, protect someone they care about, or even because they think they’re doing the right thing. However, just because a lot of people does something does not make it right. Public mischief is still public mischief, and guilty parties can face huge fines and jail time.

Like any criminal charge, a charge of public mischief should be dealt with swiftly and strategically. You need an experienced criminal defence attorney on your side to handle your. Know that your best defence starts with prompt action and faithfully cooperating with your defence lawyer.

Definition of Public Mischief in Canada

The Criminal Code of Canada says in Section 140 that public mischief is an act to mislead or deceive a peace officer. It can be any of the following:

  • Committing any action to cause another person to be suspected of committing an offence, including diverting suspicion from one’s self. 
  • Making false statements to accuse someone of committing an offence.
  • Making a false report of an offence that was not committed such as claiming someone committed domestic violence or sexual assault. 
  • Reporting a false death or claiming someone who is dead is alive.
  • Staging a crime scene including faking a death or kidnapping.

Note that a charge of public mischief is often made with other charges depending on which of the above acts the accused committed

Punishment for a Public Mischief Charge

There are many reasons why people give false or inaccurate information. Some may believe that what they are doing is the right thing or that they could have been fed wrong information. It could be a difference in perception or can be a way to get back to another person as a form of revenge. No matter the reason, a charge of public mischief can have very serious consequences as well as huge fines.

Charged with public mischief? You need to act fast! Talk to Calvin Barry as soon as possible to discuss your options and build your defence for your public mischief charge. Contact Calvin Barry Law today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

An Overview of the Degrees of Murder

Murder is murder no matter how you look at it, but the differences in the degrees of murder can mean a huge difference in the punishment for someone convicted of a specific crime. Murder is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada and have to be defended by a criminal defence attorney. Below are the degrees of murder.  


Homicide can be either be non-culpable or culpable. Non-culpable homicide is not an offence and is the case for self-defence by both civilians and uniformed personnel. Culpable homicide is considered an offence and further sub-classified into infanticide, manslaughter, and murder. It is when someone is responsible for causing death to another by fear, harm, negligence, or violence.


A homicide is a murder when a person willfully causes the death of another individual or causes bodily harm that will result to death.

First-Degree Murder

Generally, it a First-Degree Murder when the bodily harm or event was deliberate or planned. If the murder occurs in the commission of assault with a weapon, sexual assault, kidnapping, hostage taking, hijacking, or committing terrorist activity, then it is considered as First-Degree Murder too.

Second-Degree Murder

Cases that are not First-Degree Murder but was done with intent to harm another knowing it may result to death is called Second-Degree Murder.

Murder Reduced to Manslaughter

Murder that was committed in the heat of the moment or due to an emotional outburst (such as in the case of sudden provocation) is classified under manslaughter. Provocation is defined herein as a sudden action conducted by the victim to incite the accused to commit an indictable offence. The ‘sudden provocation’ is a huge factor in reducing a murder to manslaughter.


A female who is not fully recovered from childbirth and caused the death of the child is charged with infanticide.


A culpable homicide that is not murder nor murder is classified as a manslaughter and has a wide range of sentencing/punishment. A murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the defence attorney is seasoned enough to identify technicalities that can support this.

No matter what the degree, murder is a serious offence that is punishable by up to a lifetime in prison. If you or someone you know has been charged with murder, the best thing to do is contact a criminal defence attorney as soon as possible. Calvin Barry can help. Contact Calvin Barry Law today!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Canadians could now be charged with drunk driving —Calvin Barry Warns in CBC News Article

With tough new impaired driving laws passed by parliament recently, criminal defense lawyers are accusing the legislation of being unconstitutional, with Calvin Barry calling it a breach of the charter.
Among the legislations supporters is Andy Murie of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who insists the police still need probable cause to demand a sobriety test.  “Only if [police] suspect that you’ve committed an offence of drunk driving and they are following the investigation, and that investigation took them to your house or your bar”, he said.
Although Calvin is a strong supporter of MADD Canada, he said this time they have it wrong.
“Police do not require reasonable suspicion any longer,” Barry told CBC News.
Barry also warns Canadians they can be arrested and charged within the new two-hour time frame if their BAC has risen over the limit — even if they had been sober when they parked their car and planned to take a cab or transit home later.
“That is just a flagrant contravention of one’s civil liberties and a breach of the charter,” Barry said.