realistic surrender
May 28, 2012 12:46 PM   Subscribe

What happens when you surrender on a drug trafficking warrant? (Canadian version)

Help me sort out a plausible fictional scenario. A young man with no previous criminal record gets caught with a few pounds of marijuana in the greater Vancouver area (Canada, that is). He successfully flees the situation but later decides to turn himself in (with help from a lawyer).

What sort of situation is he likely to face? Would he be jailed? What sort of bail would he have to raise? At what point would a judge figure and how much leeway would a judge have in terms of sentence suspension, etc?
posted by philip-random to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Response by poster: And I should add. This scenario is set roughly ten years ago, 2002-03.
posted by philip-random at 12:47 PM on May 28, 2012

Best answer: I can't answer your questions but perhaps reading some case law will help? Here is a case from 2001, from 2003, and 2002.
posted by saucysault at 8:34 PM on May 28, 2012

Best answer: Well this is exactly the sort of question I created this sock for, as I'm a cop in Canada.

Depending on how much later it is (after the crime) he's going to be arrested because
a) a warrant has been issued and listed on CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) computer network or
b) because someone has reviewed the file and decided he's arrestable and said so on the Police Records Information Management Environment (PRIME) computer system

He's going to be arrested, read his Charter rights (Section 10a, Section 10b) given an opportunity to call a lawyer of his choice in a private plexi-glass phone box, and of course offered legal aid if he doesn't have a lawyer of his own. He'd likely be placed in a cell for at least some time during his stay (say if they have to leave him alone for a few minutes). He will have 3 sets of fingerprints and 2 sets of palm prints taken, and a photo of his face and profile.

If the charges are already approved then there will be a warrant. A warrant can be endorsed or endorsed, if it is endorsed then the suspect can be released on a Promise to Appear with an Undertaking (bail conditions) or without one. If the warrant is not endorsed, e.g. unendorsed then the warrant requires that the person be brought before a Judge.

Usually if you're turning yourself in you will know ahead of time whether there is a warrant and whether it is unendorsed. If you turn yourself in Friday night with an endorsed warrant you can be out again in an hour or two with some paperwork, if the warrant is unendorsed then you'll be sitting in jail all weekend (after a quick telephone bail hearing) to be taken before a Judge on Monday morning.

Hmm, if it's 10 years ago it's all the same except PRIME was called PIRS and I can't remember what that stood for. Police Information Records System, maybe.
posted by BlueSock at 3:44 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Charter Section 10a as usually read to people

X, I'm arresting you for OFFENCE which occured on DATE in PLACE. Do you understand? [Note response].

Charter Section 10b as usually read to people

X, It is my duty to inform you that you have the right to retrain and instruct legal counsel in private without delay. There is a 24 hour legal aid telephone system. I can provide you the number for legal aid and the lawyer can explain the plan to you. Do you understand? [Note response.] Do you want to call a lawyer? [Note response.]

Official Warning: You are not obliged to say anything but anything you do say may be given in evidence, do you understand? [Note response.]

Personal note, the official warning is really annoying as people ARE obliged to say their name and date of birth and address but often don't believe you if you haven't gotten it from them before telling them that bit. Badly worded.
posted by BlueSock at 3:49 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Bluesock, thank you, sir. That's exactly what I needed, and in great detail.
posted by philip-random at 8:48 AM on May 29, 2012

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