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Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots: Why it’s Important to Hire a Vancouver Riot Lawyer

Posted on December 23, 2011

Anyone in Vancouver knows what a chaotic time the city went through in the aftermath of the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins 4-0 in June of 2011. Now, six months later, charges are finally being laid and the first of the Vancouver Stanley Cup rioters charged with crimes are being seen in court. This will most likely be a long process, spanning months and potentially years and while undoubtedly many people won’t face long jail sentences, if you have been charged with crimes relating to the Vancouver Canuck riots, you need to make sure that you’re protected, that your rights are preserved and that you have the proper legal counsel from a Vancouver riot lawyer to mitigate the charges laid against you to the highest extent possible.

Many Vancouverites are actively looking forward to charges being laid and Vancouver rioters being prosecuted and because of that you need to make sure that you have the all the information you need to protect yourself with the help of an effective Vancouver criminal lawyer. With social media available to enlist the public’s help capturing Vancouver Stanley Cup riot participators (like the Facebook page, “Vancouver Riot Pics: Post Your Photos”) police and authorities have turned to newer methods to catch the participants, and because of this there are some legal issues that a lawyer can help you work through. In the aftermath of the riots, Vancouver police combed through over a million photos and a thousand hours of video footage attempting to find individuals to lay charges against, but a photo doesn’t necessarily mean that you can be charged with a criminal offense. Do you know your rights?

Legal Rights and the Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots: Do you have a good Vancouver Criminal Lawyer?

  1. The police may attempt to manipulate you. The police will often misrepresent the amount of information that they have regarding you in association with a crime. Having a lawyer on your side can stop you from being manipulated by the police and can help you understand your rights. If you are detained by the police you’re required to give your proper name and address, otherwise you’re not required to say anything and in fact it’s recommended that you do not.
  2. A lawyer can make your initial court appearances for you. If you hire a lawyer, they can attend at court for you for your preliminary appearances and help you avoid getting swarmed by the press upon leaving the courthouse.
  3. If you have a lawyer you can avoid being arrested in an awkward situation. The police can arrest you any time, any place, after they get a warrant for your arrest. If you have a lawyer they can be apprised once a warrant has been issued and arrange for you to turn yourself in at a convenient time for you rather than at your workplace or home.
  4. Pictures can be misleading.  Just because the police have a picture of you at a time or place where a crime was committed doesn’t mean that they actually have any proof that you committed a crime. Often the prosecutors cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the image depicts you as being guilty of a crime. This means that even if there is a picture of you during the riot, it may not be enough to convict you and an effective Vancouver riot lawyer can help you determine how at risk you are and help you navigate the difficulties of the Vancouver court systems.
  5. A picture isn’t necessarily enough for a conviction. Under the Canada Evidence Act, 342,”A person who wants to admit an electronic document as evidence has the burden of proving its authenticity by evidence capable of supporting a finding that the electronic document is  that which it is purported to be.” Since many of the images and videos being used as evidence by the police were submitted anonymously, they may not be strong enough evidence to convict you of a crime. It’s just as important for the police to have information about the people submitting the images and videos, and to be able to call witnesses that took the photos and images. Without these additional forms of evidence, they may not have enough information to actually convict you of a crime, hampering your prosecutor’s case.

Helping you determine this and other ways that you can avoid being charged are just some of the ways that a Vancouver riot lawyer can help you save yourself from jail time or serious charges after participating in the riots. Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Mitch Foster is a Vancouver criminal lawyer with a long history of helping people living in Vancouver and British Columbia facing criminal charges. If you’ve been charged, or are worried that you may be charged, with a crime for involvement in the Vancouver riots, get a no obligation Vancouver lawyer free consultation – call Mitch today.