A motion under the Charter: fresh cannabis odour
Our client’s arrest was primarily based on the fresh odour of cannabis. We filed a motion to demonstrate objectively that the police officers had insufficient grounds to justify an arrest. The Crown agreed to drop the charge. Given that our client was in danger of being convicted, the judge acquitted him.
The law and fresh cannabis odour
We published a note on the law that applies to arrests based on cannabis odour.
The danger of being convicted
The question of knowing whether a legal decision that terminates the proceedings gives rise to a plea of autrefois acquit depends on the nature of the legal basis of the decision. Decisions based on substantive legal principles will generally allow for defences of autrefois acquit. Decisions based on procedure are more complex. Some can terminate faulty proceedings without preventing the prosecution from restarting them; other decisions can be equivalent to a final decision subject to appeal, without giving rise to new proceedings. It’s virtually impossible to specifically outline every possible situation. However, three factors are important when it comes to such decisions: the nature of the offence in question, the stage in the proceeding where it is raised, and the extent of the harm done to the accused.