Aucoin was stopped by Cst. Burke for motor vehicle legislation infractions. The officer felt it necessary to have Aucoin sit in the rear of the cruiser while the ticket was issued. Before securing Aucoin in the rear of the cruiser, Cst. Burke did a pat down search and detected a package, which Aucoin said was ecstasy, in Aucoin’s pocket. Aucoin was arrested and found to be in possession of a large quantity of cocaine and pills.
In a previous post, Dallas discussed the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruling in Aucoin: 2011 NSCA 64. The Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal from that ruling. The majority, authored by Moldaver J, held that is was not reasonably necessary for the officer to place him in the police cruiser and accordingly, that searching for security reasons before placing him there could not be justified and was a violation of s. 8 of the Charter. However, the majority went on to hold that the evidence was admissible pursuant to s. 24(2) of the Charter: 2012 SCC 66