New & Notable: Definitely not that "new car smell"...ONCA reiterates propriety of dual purpose stops

Kwesi Morris was pulled over by the police because they wanted to verify his documentation under the Highway Traffic Act (“HTA”).  The police smelled fresh marijuana and so arrested Morris and searched him and the car.   They found drugs and a loaded handgun in the car.  Morris argued that the drugs and gun should have been tossed out as evidence by the trial judge because, according to him, the police used the HTA as a pretext for an unauthorized stop and search.  The Ontario Court of Appeal disagreed: 2013 ONCA 223.
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New & Notable: What's that bulge in your pocket...the final word from the SCC

The bottom line

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


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