Dismissal Of Murder Charge
Second-Degree Murder Dismissed By Provincial Court But The Fight Continues
I recently represented CLH who was charged with second degree murder at a preliminary inquiry before the Provincial Court of Alberta. My client was discharged by the judge. The test of whether there was some evidence that could lead a trier of fact to return a guilty verdict was not met by the prosecution.
The Crown appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench and was granted certiorari (which is a court order that quashed the discharge). The Court of Queen’s Bench also granted mandamus (which ordered the matter back to Provincial Court) to commit the applicant to stand trial. Ms. Sanders and I appealed the Court of Queen’s Bench order and sought a stay of proceedings to suspend the Court of Queen’s Bench Order pending the final determination of the appeal.
The justice who heard the appeal conducted a comprehensive analysis on the jurisdiction to order a stay of proceedings on the Court of Queen’s Bench order but concluded there was no jurisdiction to do so. An expedited appeal schedule has been encouraged.
This case demonstrates how hard we will fight for you no matter the offence alleged. The test at the preliminary inquiry stage is incredibly low. This case highlights the good work an experienced defence lawyer can achieve. But it also illustrates what can happen even when good work is accomplished. Mr. H was incredibly relieved when his homicide charge was dropped. The prosecution is tough and has a lot of resources. They chose to challenge the dismissal and convinced the Court of Queen’s Bench to reverse the lower court’s finding. This can happen anytime a defence lawyer wins your case. You must be prepared to deal with an appeal. Fortunately, we have Ms. Sanders on our bench. She is brilliant and has an undefeated record at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Fighting any criminal charge, from theft under $5000 to murder, is tough. But we do it every single day and we do it with diligence, we do it right and we do with ingenuity.
Our team at Ross Lutz Barristers is experienced in defending complex criminal cases. We are serious lawyers who defend serious cases. Contact us today to see how we can defend your charges.
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