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The Legality of Self Defence In Canada

Container

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I know YOU wouldnt charge a victim, and netiher would I Zipperhead.

But Im not sure if you've met the NCO's in the RCMP- they do it all the time. There is a big stink going on about victims being the only ones charged on files going on on the east coast right now.

Somepeople in the Queens Cowboys love stats above all other things....
 

Greymatters

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It would be pretty easy to do - after all, the victim wants to tell their story, doesnt have to be coerced, isnt concerned about having a lawyer present, and thinks that the police will do what is best for them. 


 

Old Sweat

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Greymatters said:
It would be pretty easy to do - after all, the victim wants to tell their story, doesnt have to be coerced, isnt concerned about having a lawyer present, and thinks that the police will do what is best for them.

Can someone explain a point of law here then, svp? Is a statement taken from someone who is later charged admissable if the individual was not advised that the statement could be used as the basis of a charge? At some point the officer taking the statement must have realized that the witness was implicating himself, or at least was under suspicion of having committed an offence.
 

stukirkpatrick

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Exactly.  Once the interviewing officer believes that the victim may be the suspect in the commission of an offence, they would have to stop and caution the victim about providing evidence for that offence before any other questioning. 

Otherwise it wouldn't be admissable in court unless it was an out-of-the-blue exclamation by the victim.
 

Container

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Im not really able to get too far into this. There is a current trend of victims being charged in various instances. I dont want to get in to a public thing but basically the file is forwarded after being completed through a supervisor who sends it back down and wants the victim charged with various things. I would tell that supervisor to go and do his own paperwork if he feels so badly about it but not everyone feels that way.

I can think of four recent examples myself. Not where Ive charged a victim but where a junior cop has been given direction. In fact its made the news a few times on the east coast. You dont need a witness statement to charge someone and a spontaneous admission would be admissable without a caution.

The point being there is a real possibility of winding up in court AND being the only person to be there.

Right or wrong you can't carry weapons for elf defence in Canada without running a risk. Unless your a federal inmate.....but thats another story.

 

Thompson_JM

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Container said:
...Right or wrong you can't carry weapons for self defence in Canada without running a risk...

And that IMHO is the real Crux of the argument right there....

Why don't we have a Charter right to carry something to defend ourselves from those who wish to do us harm?
 

zipperhead_cop

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You have the right to defend yourself and use as much force as is reasonably necessary.  It's the "reasonable" part that provided the wild, subjective latitude. 

1. Small woman attacked by strange male and pulled towards bushes in sexual assault attempt.  Woman grabs bottle, smashes attacker.  Justified.

2.  5 kids breaking into man's car, man goes out with baseball bat to confront.  Kids swarm him, kids get smacked with bat.  Borderline justifiable.

3.  Intruder caught inside persons home, home owner confronts and shoots them while they try to flee.  Not justified.

In all of those, the bad guy(s) pretty much deserve to get some sort of pain delivery.  But how it came about and why it is used is very broad.  Ultimately, it comes down to articulation of use of force and the belief in a persons mind versus the damage done and the need for it to happen. 
(I'm going to suggest that endless debate on the above three scenarios is not needed.  They were just for illustration purpose and DO  NOT constitute anything official or supported by the judiciary)

Container, it saddens me that the RCMP have gotten to this point.  I heard a suggestion a while back that they should abandon all contract policing and push the responsibility back to the province.  Then they could just concentrate on high level investigations ala the FBI. 
 

Fishbone Jones

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zipperhead_cop said:
Container, it saddens me that the RCMP have gotten to this point.  I heard a suggestion a while back that they should abandon all contract policing and push the responsibility back to the province.  Then they could just concentrate on high level investigations ala the FBI.

You'd get little complaint from the majority of Canada's firearms owners on that one.
 

Brutus

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I've heard of the concept of 'weapon of opportunity', meaning you can grab something to defend yourself, as long as it was not there specifically for that purpose. IE - your golf clubs are sitting in your enterance way of your home after a round of golf earlier in the day. That night, someone breaks into your home, you grab what's available (a 9-iron) and defend yourself. I have also heard that firearms are never justified as a weapon of opportunity.

Does anyone know anything about this?
 

Dissident

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Brutus said:
I have also heard that firearms are never justified as a weapon of opportunity.

They could be justified. I think a couple of cases lately had people defending themselves with firearms and being found not guilty or charges stayed.

Anyone got links on these? Don't have them handy.

Chances are if you shoot someone, no matter how obviously justified you were, the police would charge you and let the court decides.
 

Container

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recceguy said:
You'd get little complaint from the majority of Canada's firearms owners on that one.

:'(

Its true...and Zipperhead is on the money. Sometimes it appears that we may be suffering from from micro-analyzing the actions of people who find themselves in fearful situations. Which is what we, police, accuse the courts of doing when a police officer uses force and defence starts doing the "shouldn't you have done this". Spending hours studying a decision that took less than a second.

Unofficially, I subscribe to the train of thought that if bonehead pushes the young lady to the point where she feels like she needs to stab him with a pen to avoid bodily harm. The person responsible is bonehead.....

Im not sure if the RCMP woes currently splashing through the media would go away if we removed contract policing. The unreasonable amongst one organization would just be shuffled to another. All it would do is change the name of the force with the weird issues.

Im not sure if you are following the Ottawa police management and front line guys spat at all but its interesting that the chief used to be a mountie.
 

Sapplicant

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Question.

When does 'self defence' turn into 'aggrivated assault'?

Background to question:

Some bum threw a rock at me, and I confronted him about it, asked him why, told him it was rude, and not to do it again. He gets up and asks me if I ever foung in world war 2, got in my face, and took a few swings at me. I went back into the pub where my friends were, and though nothing of it until I looked out the window and saw a cop motioning for me. Apparently someone called the cops, and they wanted to know if I wanted to press charges. I told them 'he's got enough problems, and I don't have the time. Just get him out of here, please, so we can go on with our night'. Then, as the cab they loaded him into is going off, he leans out the window, points at me, and says "See you real soon, you rat-asshole!". I work at a bar in downtown Ottawa, and there's a VERY good chance he's going to confront me again (assuming he wasn't too smashed off listerine to remember).

When this happens, what's a lad to do?
 

frank1515

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Call the cops and let them deal with it. Don't be a hero. Last thing you need is to get stabbed in the arm with an HIV infested needle, IMO.
 

Container

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getting called a rat asshole makes you want to maim him? I would just suggest you avoid him- you can use as much force as is reasonably required to stop his assault. Aggravated assault it assault that causes an injury that will never be healed or causes them to lose the use of part of their body. Assault > Assault Causing Bodily Harm> Aggravated Assault

So if drunky mcdrunkarton take a pop at you and you shove him on his ass and he cant get up thats all your allowed to do. If you yell at him "come at me bro" your in a consent fist fight and you'll probably both get picked up for causing a disturbance. If he comes at you and you pop him in the lip and it causes him to stop his vicious drunk guy assault you'll probably be fine. If he drops dead though you'll be in crap- which can happen and does. You never know when these guys are going to die.

The style of bum you described wont remember you to fight you later. He'll fight someone but it wont be because he remembers them.
 

Sapplicant

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Container said:
getting called a rat ******* makes you want to maim him?

No, not really. What would make me want to main him is if he comes after me for being a 'rat a-hole' after I could've had him tossed in jail. Also, this is good information to know if another bum were to try the same sort of thing. It seems that in the past month there's a lot of them popping up who think they're 'above the law' ever since that Hugo what's-his-job took a blade to the chest.

It's a messy situation, and, for anyone familiar with Ottawa, the bar I work at is the Honest Lawyer. Not exactly easy to aviod these wastes of human potential at that place, what with the mission across waller, and the Sally-ann right next door.

Container said:
If he comes at you and you pop him in the lip and it causes him to stop his vicious drunk guy assault you'll probably be fine. If he drops dead though you'll be in crap- which can happen and does. You never know when these guys are going to die.

Which exactly why I asked. Suppose I only throw one punch, after already being swung at, and the guy falls, cracks his head off the ground, and dies. He came at me swinging, and I tried to tried to defend myself, and now he's dead. It's not like I'm looking to beat seven shades of shyte out of someone, just get some drunk, homeless, jobless, hopeless, worthless POS to stop their attack. When the incident in question happened, this is what went through my mind, and I had an easy way to get away from him. What if I'm in a situation where I don't have a quick exit available?
 

frank1515

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Sapplicant said:
It's not like I'm looking to beat seven shades of shyte out of someone, just get some drunk, homeless, jobless, hopeless, worthless POS to stop their attack.

The Justice System doesn't much care if someone is drunk, homeless, jobless, hopeless, worthless POS or any combination of those adjectives. A person is still a person, and they are protected under the same Charter and Constitution that you are.

Just walk away man, it's not worth it.
 

Container

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Sapplicant said:
No, not really. What would make me want to main him is if he comes after me for being a 'rat a-hole' after I could've had him tossed in jail. Also, this is good information to know if another bum were to try the same sort of thing. It seems that in the past month there's a lot of them popping up who think they're 'above the law' ever since that Hugo what's-his-job took a blade to the chest.

It's a messy situation, and, for anyone familiar with Ottawa, the bar I work at is the Honest Lawyer. Not exactly easy to aviod these wastes of human potential at that place, what with the mission across waller, and the Sally-ann right next door.

Which exactly why I asked. Suppose I only throw one punch, after already being swung at, and the guy falls, cracks his head off the ground, and dies. He came at me swinging, and I tried to tried to defend myself, and now he's dead. It's not like I'm looking to beat seven shades of shyte out of someone, just get some drunk, homeless, jobless, hopeless, worthless POS to stop their attack. When the incident in question happened, this is what went through my mind, and I had an easy way to get away from him. What if I'm in a situation where I don't have a quick exit available?

There is pretty much a legal expectation that if there was a way to avoid it you would take it. If you dont and he dies you'd be liable. You need to be careful. While they seem to be invincible and cant even drink themselves to death they will drop dead the moment somebody hits them in self defence. And Id probably get the file with my luck. You need to be careful.

Honest lawyer is chuckie cheese for adults.
 

Sapplicant

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Container said:
Honest lawyer is chuckie cheese for adults.

They're only adults by age, my friend. Everything else screams 16 year-old girl.


I will be very careful and, hopefully, as you said, One-eye'd-Willie isn't going to remember me. It's just so damn frustrating to deal with that shit. The worst is seing that they're so willing to abuse every right they possibly can, while shirking every possible responsibility, every time the opportunity presents itself. Work Gloves and Wheelbarrows, anybody?
 

Dissident

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http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-12.html#h-9

Self-defence against unprovoked assault

34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.

Extent of justification

(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if

(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and

(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.


Preventing assault

37. (1) Every one is justified in using force to defend himself or any one under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.

Extent of justification

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to justify the wilful infliction of any hurt or mischief that is excessive, having regard to the nature of the assault that the force used was intended to prevent.

    R.S., c. C-34, s. 37.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Container said:
Those sentences arent magic get out of jail cards. You would have to PROVE the reasonable apprehension that their are vicious dogs you are in danger of being bitten by. The camping store guy did you no favors. The court would more then likely unreceptive to this paper thin lie. They see this stuff a lot. I have observed a trend of the courts being really agressive with people that defend themselves or property- almost like its a personal thing. That is just opinion of course but Im shocked by the bad sentences handed out to real criminals, career criminals, and the disproportionate ones handed out to regular people. Could just be me though.

However, I too usually prescribe to "judged by 12 than be carried by 6". But I think there are better ways to manage risk. At least until Canada creates a CCW permit.

I carry dog spray always, and bearspray when with the kids. Despite living in a Urban environment, bears. cougars and coyotes encounters are a very real possibility. As for dog bites, it would take less than 2 hours to gather the number of dog bites complaints in your area to present to court to justify your decision to carry. The key is to refrain from justifying to the officer why you were carrying it. Stick to your stated reason and say as little as possible beyond describing the actual encounter. It does pay to be accurate in relating the encounter.

Why I like spray is that it gives you time to put distance between you and the attacker. A knife is a last ditch defense and you can win a knife fight and still die. Spray along with awareness, common sense is the best we can do until ATC's are given out more freely. Another problem for me is having kids, it's my job to engage/distract the attacker (human or otherwise) in order to give time for my wife to escape with the kids or for the kids to be able to run away. If the crown prosecutor wishes to go after me for protecting my kids with spray, they can try, but as recent events show, the court of public opinion will come down hard on them and the government has clued in that the public is sick of people being charged for proper self-defense.
 
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