What is a ‘Suspicion on Reasonable Grounds’?
The Courts have found that:
(a) A reasonable suspicion considers a less than reasonable belief but more than a possibility, that there were drugs present at the specified time.
(b) Reasonable suspicion cannot be arbitrary. Factual basis for the suspicion must be available to the Court.
(c) The officer’s source and its consent must be assessed at all costs.
See: R v Rondo (2001) 126 A Crim R 562.
Situations, where a “reasonable suspicion” will not be considered, are:
- A situation wherein a police officer is patrolling an area known for drugs and decide to search someone simply because they seemed to be nervous.
- When a person who seems to be nervous or agitated is stopped for a breath test.
- When a person is searched because he or she—or someone he or she is with—has a previous drug-related conviction.
- “Random” or “arbitrary” searches.
Situations where a “reasonable suspicion” may be considered are:
- When police officers witness what appears to be a drug transaction.
- When the police receive a detailed report of a drug activity happening real-time. The report must be detailed and the descriptions must match the suspect or the vehicle to be searched.
- When the police observe an individual whose actions highly suggest drug possession. For instance, the person is seen discarding or hiding an object.