A retired U.S. army sergeant major who was arrested and charged with a number of serious gun crimes after he made a wrong turn and accidentally reached a Canadian border crossing, was recently acquitted of all charges against him. “We were going for acquittal all the way, and we got it,” said Bruce Engel, the Ottawa criminal defence lawyer who obtained the successful result for Kentucky resident Louis DiNatale.
DiNatale was “very emotional and very relieved and very grateful” after being cleared of the charges, said Engel.
Engel had represented Mr. DiNatale since his arrest earlier this year at the U.S.-Canada border where, due to an unreliable GPS, he accidentally drove into Ontario with a gun that he had forgotten was stashed in the console of his car.
After Canadian border authorities handcuffed, arrested, and interrogated DiNatale and his wife and refused to allow him to turn around and return to the U.S, he was charged with unauthorized possession of a weapon; possession of a loaded, prohibited weapon; failure to report goods imported into Canada; making a false statement; and smuggling goods into Canada. DiNatale had originally faced up to three years in prison if convicted.
Immediately after Engel presented his case in September, an Ontario judge acquitted DiNatale of all charges.” The judge believed [DiNatale’s] explanation, that he forgot he had the gun,” Engel said. “The evidence was very clear.”
Engel has written about the risks and potential penalties of crossing the border into Canada with firearms, and advises U.S. visitors to Canada to “make sure when you come to Canada that your gun is at home. You can have big problems if you don’t.”
Ottawa Criminal Defence Firm Engel & Associates Defends Against Even The Most Complicated Charges
Criminal lawyers Bruce Engel and Elena Davies have represented individuals and businesses charged with hundreds of different offences throughout Canada for more than two decades. From the start of a criminal investigation to the close of a trial, we will take a balanced and forceful approach to your defence. We have the experience and know-how to effectively navigate the constantly changing justice system in Canada.
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