Changes elim­i­nate war­rants for mi­nor of­fenses

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The Al­berta Govern­ment an­nounced mea­sures on Mon­day that are de­signed to ease pres­sure on Al­berta courts and save re­sources.

Kath­leen Ganley, Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral an­nounced “An Act to Mod­ern­ize En­force­ment of Pro­vin­cial Of­fences.”

This elim­i­nates the use of war­rants to en­force tickets and out­stand­ing fines for mi­nor, non-traf­fic-re­lated charges.

“The ben­e­fit of these new mea­sures is that po­lice, court staff, judges and oth­ers in the jus­tice sys­tem will no longer have to spend thou­sands of hours each year pro­cess­ing war­rants is­sued for mi­nor of­fences. We know their time is bet­ter spent fo­cus­ing on more se­ri­ous and vi­o­lent mat­ters,” said Min­is­ter Ganley.

Lo­cal De­fense lawyer Colin Kloot says the change could be ben­e­fi­cial. “I think it is a good thing,” said Kloot. Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease, Al­berta court staff spend nearly 9,000 hours an­nu­ally pro­cess­ing war­rants for mi­nor of­fenses.

He ex­plains if a per­son is charged with a part 2 of­fence and they do not ap­pear in court, a war­rant for ar­rest is is­sued. This means a per­son can be ar­rested on charges as mi­nor as a by­law in­frac­tion or an LRT ticket.

“If you have a war­rant for a mu­nic­i­pal by­law of­fence, and you are driv­ing down the road in Oko­toks and you are caught for speed­ing, they are go­ing to have to ar­rest you, they will take you into cus­tody and you have to face de­ten­tion or a re­lease hear­ing, or they will re­lease you on a prom­ise to ap­pear.

“There are just too many re­sources be­ing uti­lized for these kinds of of­fences,” he said.

He says with the new ini­tia­tive, these kinds of tickets will be treated like traf­fic in­frac­tions where the peo­ple fac­ing these kinds of of­fenses could be held re­spon­si­ble through civil mea­sures such as re­strict­ing ve­hi­cle regis­tra­tion ser­vices.

Along with these changes, they are in­tro­duc­ing what is be­ing dubbed an e-tick­et­ing ini­tia­tive, which will al­low po­lice and peace of­fi­cers to elec­tron­i­cally file tickets with the court, re­duc­ing pa­per­work.

“It is just mod­ern­iz­ing the sys­tem,” said Kloot.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.