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The Crown will often cite the principle of parity during a sentencing hearing. This principles holds that offenders with similar offences should be given similar sentences. On trafficking charges, the principle of parity can be devastating, since the Court of Appeal has mandated lengthy jail sentences in all but exceptional circumstances. In this case, the client was a passenger in a vehicle with her boyfriend who was a well known drug dealer. The boyfriend was well versed in the criminal justice system, and hid the drugs on his girlfriend in an attempt to avoid detection. Thus, their vehicle was taken down and all parties within were searched. They found a rather large amount of crack cocaine on the female client. Thus, she was charged with trafficking. The boyfriend plead out early and received 2 years of jail. Mr. Lewandowski set his client for a trial of an issue. The issue to be litigated was the clients degree of culpability, which is one of the pivotal principles of sentencing. Thus, if one accused is more involved than the other, then disparate sentences should be imposed. The Crown submitted that 1 year of jail was appropriate. This was perfectly within the range of sentence mandated by law. However, after demonstrating that the client was no longer in the abusive relationship, was in school, and well on her way towards rehabilitation, the Judge agreed with Mr. Lewandowski and imposed six months conditional sentence, to be served at home.


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Paul Lewandowski Professional Corporation
200 Elgin St,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
K2P 1L5