Erec Rolfe, Defence Lawyer
Erec Rolfe, Defence Lawyer

R v. Harflett - 2016 ONCA 248

Court of Appeal overturns drug conviction, finding serious misconduct by police

In April, 2016, Mr. Rolfe and his co-counsel, Malcolm McCrae, successfuly overturned the conviction of A.H., who was convicted of possession of marijunaa for the purpose of trafficking.  


A.H. had been pulled over on Highway 401 with 40 kilograms of marijuana in his car trunk.  At his trial, his lawyer brought an application to have the marijuana excluded from evidence based on a breach of his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, pursuant to section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The trial judge dismissed the application and convicted the accused, and then sentenced him to 12 months in jail, plus probation.


Mr. Rolfe successfully appealed that judgment to the Court of Appeal.  The Court overturned the trial judge's ruling, finding that the police had breached A.H.'s Charter rights.  The Court of Appeal found that the officer's misconduct was serious and formed part of a "pattern of abuse".  The court excluded the evidence and took the rare step of acquitting the client (instead of sending the matter back for a new trial). 


You can read the decision here.


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