Jul 20, 2016

Criminal Law: Telewarrant Validity

R. v. Clark, 2015 BCCA 488 (CanLII)
An R.C.M.P. officer obtained a telewarrant to investigate theft of electricity at a residence near Kelowna, British Columbia. During the execution of that warrant the police discovered not only an electrical by-pass, but a large marihuana grow-operation. The Applicant, who was inside the residence when the police arrived, was charged with production of marihuana, possession of marihuana for the purpose of trafficking, and theft of electricity. In his ruling, the trial judge found the telewarrant invalid because the judicial justice assisted the officer in preparing his information to obtain. The judge went on to hold that because the telewarrant was invalid its execution infringed the Applicant’s s. 8  Charter right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure and that the admission into evidence of the drugs and other items seized by the police would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The B.C.C.A. held that the telewarrant was properly issued, and the trial judge’s decision to exclude the evidence tendered by the Crown could not stand, and ordered a new trial.  'The application for leave to appeal...is granted.  The request for an oral hearing to determine the application for leave to appeal is moot.'
Note: These brief summaries were originally prepared for Supreme Advocacy LLP’s weekly newsletter which covers Supreme Court of Canada appeals and leaves to appeal.