City: Lindsay, Ontario
Our Client: Mr. M.
Complainant: Ontario Provincial Police
Charge(s): Drive Suspended; Careless Storage of Firearm; Unauthorized Possession of Firearm while Occupant in Vehicle; Unauthorized Possession of Firearm
Lawyer: Lavinia Inbar
Case Study: Charges Withdrawn – Firearm
Mr. M., a young father, had been out for the day with his young son and his own father and brother, at the family hunt camp. His wife who had stayed home with their infant daughter had been unable to start the woodstove so Mr. M. borrowed his own father’s truck, the young son had climbed into the back seat of the pick-up and buckled himself in, and Mr. M. and his boy headed home. The two of them happily joked about how they were going to “rescue” the ladies. On the way, they were stopped by police as part of a RIDE program. An officer spied an empty beer can in the vehicle, so he asked Mr. M. to pull over to the side. The officer then came up to the vehicle and saw a rifle in the back seat of the truck. The officer administered a roadside alcohol breath test. Mr. M. passed. However, he was arrested for careless storage of a firearm, occupying a vehicle knowing there was a firearm inside (unauthorized possession of firearm while occupant in vehicle) and drive suspended, as it turned out that, unbeknownst to him, his driver’s licence was suspended. The rifle, which was Mr. M.’s father’s and had been in the family for generations, was seized. Later the additional charge of unauthorized possession of a firearm would also be laid. At the roadside, Mr. M.’s little boy cried.
The charges were serious and the Crown was seeking jail. The goal was to have at least some of the charges dropped and to keep Mr. M. out of jail.
We would present evidence, including witness statements to show that Mr. M. had no knowledge of the presence of the rifle nor did he know that his licence was suspended.
Based on the evidence that we provided, the Crown concluded that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction and all the charges with withdrawn. The seized rifle was returned to Mr. M.’s father.