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Decisions


Drug Offences

In R v. S.T., for the first time in Canadian history, a group of police officers were charged with Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice, arising out of their alleged perjury and misconduct during the trial of Mr. Tran who was charged with Possession of Heroin for the Purposes of Trafficking, contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

As a firm advocate of ensuring that everyone is treated justly and fairly under the law, Ms. Schofield has consistently demonstrated and exposed police misconduct while defending her clients.

In R v. Tran, Ms. Schofield, through her strategic approach to the case, and through skilled cross-examination, was able to expose a large scale conspiracy among several veteran Toronto Police Service officers. As a result of her efforts, four officers are facing a total of seventeen criminal charges of obstruction of justice and perjury – which are extremely serious charges that may result in a lengthy period of incarceration.

This decision was unprecedented in Canadian legal history as Justice Morgan concluded that the police colluded and conspired to frame Ms. Schofield’s client, who was also noted as a vulnerable person. The Court found that the police violated Mr. Tran’s section 8 and 9 Charter rights, and excluded all of the heroin that was located in the vehicle. Mr. Tran was acquitted of all charges. Please click here for direct access to the entire judgment.


In R v Li, Ms. Schofield’s client was charged with Production of Marihuana and Possession of Marihuana for the Purposes of Trafficking. Our client was charged in relation to a rural property in Cannington, Ontario where approximately 1500 marihuana plants and ninety pounds of marijuana were located following the execution of a search warrant.

Following a multi-day trial, Ms. Schofield was able to demonstrate through cross-examination of the Durham Regional Police Service officers that all of officers unlawfully trespassed on our client’s property without judicial authorization.

The Honourable Justice Wright held that the actions of the police were unconscionable as not one police officer was aware of the property lines of address. During their testimony, the officers could not recall where they were at the time they made their observations of the alleged marihuana plants growing outdoors, nor could they recall the location of their fellow officers.

In addition, Justice Wright denounced the conduct of the police in failing to obtain a survey for the property from the Land Registry Office (LRO) and effectively concluded that the police investigation was conducted in a manner that ignored our client’s right to privacy.

Justice Wright found multiple Charter violations, and excluded all of the evidence against our client. As a result, our client was acquitted of all charges.


In R v. R.W., the police unlawfully searched our client’s vehicle after he was observed talking on his cell phone while driving. The Court found that the officers’ testimony contradicted each other on key parts and that their notes, as well as their memories, were incomplete. The Court ultimately found a violation of R.W.’s section 8 Charter rights and excluded the ten grams of cocaine from evidence. R.W. was acquitted of all charges.


In R v. P.A., after executing a search warrant, the police located 148.12 grams of heroin at P.A.’s family residence, along with 17 oxycodone pills and $6,700 in cash. The Court found that “given the overall state of the evidence it would take a conjectural leap – perhaps not a large leap, but it would nevertheless be conjecture – to conclude that the heroin must have belonged to the Defendant...” The trial judge concluded that the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs belonged to P.A. The accused was acquitted of Possession of Heroin for the Purposes of Trafficking.


In R v. V.L, the accused was charged with Production of Marihuana, Theft of Hydroelectricity, and Possession of Marihuana for the Purposes of Trafficking. The accused was arrested after he was observed leaving a home where 733 marihuana plants were located. He was found to be in possession of 14.9 kilograms of wet marihuana. The accused was acquitted of all charges.


In R v. T.N., the accused was acquitted of Production of Marihuana after he was found inside a residence in Oakville with 980 marihuana plants. Following a challenge to the search warrant, the Court found that the grounds in the warrant were mere conjecture and devoid of any substance or merit. Justice Goodman excluded all evidence against our client, and found that the admission of this kind of evidence would greatly undermine public confidence in the justice system.


In R v. N.P, while investigating a number of potential marijuana grow operations, the police executed a search warrant on a unit where the accused was babysitting three children. Inside, the police located a lease for another unit with the accused’s name on it and a key which opened the other unit. Inside the second unit, police found 467 marijuana plants and 67 MDMA pills. The accused was charged with unlawful production of marijuana, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of MDMA for the purpose of trafficking. The Court found that there were multiple violations of our client’s Charter rights, including the police’s failure to obtain an interpreter for our client, who did not speak English. Our client was acquitted at trial.


In R v. P.H., the accused were charged because of their involvement in a marijuana production operation. Police obtained and executed a search warrant at an address where both parties were arrested along with 103 marijuana plants and 103 grams of dried marihuana. The Court found a section 8 Charter violation, and that the search warrant was issued based on an Information to Obtain that was carelessly drafted, materially misleading and factually inaccurate and incomplete. After relentless cross-examination by Ms. Schofield, the affiant retracted every assertion that he made in the Information to Obtain. All evidence was excluded, and both accused were acquitted of all charges.


In R v. K.K., the Court stayed all charges against our client as there was a clear violation of their right to be tried within a reasonable period of time as there was approximately 13.5 months of institutional delay in obtaining a trial date.


In R v. B.C., our client was charged with possession of a large quantity of ketamine in relation to a drug lab, valued at approximately $1.5 million dollars. While investigating a possible break and enter, the police entered a residence without a warrant, and discovered a sophisticated drug lab. Our client was located in the vicinity of the residence, and provided information to the police without speaking to counsel.  The Court found that the police arbitrarily detained and investigated our client and violated his right to speak to counsel, and as a result, excluded 14 kilograms of ketamine from evidence.


In R v. L.H., as a result of a search warrant obtained by the police, our client was arrested inside of a residence where 582 marihuana plants were located. During trial, the Court found that the evidence presented by the officer was misleading as he exaggerated the amount of hydro-electricity that was actually consumed. The Court found that the officer was “significantly careless” in drafting the Information to Obtain. As a result, all evidence obtained was excluded from trial and our client was acquitted of all charges.  


In R v. L.F., our client appealed his convictions for possession of marihuana and possession of a firearm in relation to items located inside of a vehicle he was operating. The Court allowed the appeal and concluded that the gun conviction was unreasonable as it could reasonably support an inference that our client knew a gun was located under the passenger seat in the car he was driving, which was also used by other individuals. He was acquitted of all charges on appeal.

Sentencing

In R v. X.Z., the accused was found at a marihuana grow operation with 1507 plants. Although there were a few valid medicinal marihuana production licenses, the number of plants far exceeded the lawful amount of plants authorized under the licenses. The accused received an absolute discharge (no criminal record) based on his honest, but mistaken belief that the marihuana grow operation was in fact lawful.  


In R v. F.L., the accused pled guilty to one count of trafficking cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking. The accused sold approximately 16 grams of cocaine to an undercover officer, which ultimately led to a search warrant being executed at his residence where a further 104 grams of cocaine was located. The accused received a conditional sentence, which allowed him to serve his sentence in the community and avoid serving a term of imprisonment. The Crown was asking the accused to serve 2.5 to 3 years in jail.  


In R v. S.C., our client received an absolute discharge (no criminal record) after he pled guilty to Possession of Marihuana for the Purposes of Trafficking. Our client was found in possession of a large quantity of marihuana and $150,000 of Canadian and American currency.


In R v. N.L., our client received an absolute discharge on charges pertaining to possession of approximately 4 pounds of marihuana for the purposes of trafficking that was located in his vehicle. As a result of the discharge, our client was permitted to continue to work in his field and support his family. He was also able to travel to the USA as a result of the absolute discharge.


In R v. M.M., our client was arrested following the execution of a search warrant on May 5, 2011 at a residence in Brampton. The police found approximately 250 grams of cocaine and 189 Percocet pills inside a box under a bed in an upstairs bedroom. In the same room, the police found multiple dime bags, elastics, and scales in-the notebook called "debt list". They also found a Nokia cell phone on the night table beside the bed, a Canadian passport and $1,150.00 Canadian on the dresser in the bedroom. Our client, who had a previous criminal record and mitigating circumstances, received a conditional sentence and was permitted to serve his sentence in the community.

Judicial Interim Release

In R v. F.M., our client was charged with trafficking ecstasy, cocaine, opium and marihuana after the police witnessed an alleged drug transaction outside of his home. A search of our client’s home revealed 10 kilograms of cocaine, and two kilograms of opium, among other items. The value of the drugs was estimated at approximately $1 million dollars. After a bail hearing, and one bail review, our client was released on bail at the Superior Court of Justice, while a number of his co-accused remained in custody due to the severity of the charges.


In R v. K.M., our client was charged with serious drug charges in relation to Project Battery and Project Rx, where approximately 50 search warrants were executed throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Following a Superior Court of Justice bail review, our client was released with three sureties, who pledged over $600,000 to secure the release of our client. GPS monitoring was also incorporated as part of the release.


In R v. K.H., our client was charged with possession of a firearm in relation to a road-rage incident where he allegedly pointed a firearm at another vehicle. Our client was released from custody with GPS monitoring, and with two sureties who pledged $100,000 to secure the release of our client.


In R v. H.P., our client was charged with trafficking a kilogram of cocaine to an undercover officer on repeated occasions. Following the execution of a search warrant at our client’s home, he was charged with possession of a large quantity of MDMA, 1050 grams of BZP, and 250 grams of ketamine. Following a heavily contested bail hearing, our client was released from custody with two sureties.


In R v. A.K., our client was charged with importing large quantities of cocaine directly from a source in Mexico. Following a contested bail hearing, our client was released with five sureties, in the amount of $200,000 in Brantford, Ontario.

Other Criminal Code Offences

In R v. M.R., our client was charged with Fraud Over $5,000, contrary to section 380 of the Criminal Code as a result of his alleged involvement in preparing false tax returns, and obtaining fraudulent refunds from the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”). After vigorous cross-examination by Ms. Schofield, the Court found that the CRA investigators had violated our client’s section 8 Charter rights in obtaining a search warrant for his private residence without reasonable and probable grounds.

The Court found that the Information to Obtain was misleading, and that the CRA Investigators “misrepresented the strength of the grounds to believe that the items sought would be found in the residence of the Applicant”. As a result of the blatant Charter violation, the Court excluded all evidence of the tax returns located at the residence and all derivative evidence obtained thereafter.

This ruling significantly contributed towards the eventual cessation of the prosecution of our client. All charges against him were stayed shortly thereafter.


In R v. E.C., our client was charged with a serious sexual assault, involving allegations of sadomasochism, against a former girlfriend. After filing a complex pre-trial motion, Ms. Schofield was permitted to cross-examine the complainant about her prior sexual activity with our client. Following the cross-examination, our client was acquitted of all charges.

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