R. v. C.C – Identification of offender not proven

Our client was charged with Fail to Remain at the Scene of an Accident, Impaired Driving and Refuse Breath Sample. The police received several calls regarding a car that had driven onto the sidewalk and crashed into a utility pole and fire hydrant. The driver ran away from the vehicle and fled through an alleyway. Police searched the area and observed our client, who fit the description of the man witnesses had seen running from where the accident had happened. After speaking to our client for a few minutes, our client became belligerent leading the police officers to handcuff him and detained him in their police car. Our client appeared to be impaired by alcohol. Because our client had refused to identify himself, the police went through his wallet to try to locate his identification. When going through his wallet, the police found a vehicle permit for the vehicle that had been in the accident. At trial, we demonstrated that none of the witnesses actually saw our client get out of the vehicle that had been in the accident. We also successfully argued that our client’s Charter right to be free from arbitrary detention was breached when the police handcuffed and detained him in the police car. They also breached his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure when they went through his wallet and found the vehicle permit. As a result of these breaches, the circumstantial evidence of the vehicle permit was excluded from evidence and the charges against our client were dismissed.