Why should a Youth Court lawyer assert a young person's rights under the Charter of Rights?
November 24, 2014
This video is from the United States. No opinion is expressed as to its authenticity or reliability. It is not from Canada. No suggestion is made that this behaviour would happen or be tolerated in Canada. A police officer in Canada performing his or her duty can be expected to follow the rules.
However, the video is an illustration of a search that could violate section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and result in exclusion of evidence under section 24(2). The officer appears to not have good grounds for a search of the vehicle. The detainee questions what reasons the officer has for the search. The detainee suggests that a search warrant is necessary. The officer takes the keys. We hear the sound of what may be a slap.
A young person faced with this kind of situation needs to be very cautious. A young person who asserts his or her rights in a confrontation with a police officer may be injured and / or may be charged with a criminal offence such as assault police or obstruct. A young person who comes to the aid of a friend who is being challenged by police may suffer the same fate.
Silence, while being polite, yet identifying yourself, may be a better approach.
A defence lawyer who is aware of evidence of such behaviour by police may decide to bring a Charter of Rights Application for exclusion of evidence based on a breach of the client's rights under Charter sections 8, 9, or 10. You can read these sections of the Candian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.