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Manslaughter, Murder, and Negligence: What is the Difference? | Manslaughter Lawyer Newmarket

With regard to the death of an individual at the hands of another, Canadian law organizes it under three categories: murder, manslaughter, or criminal negligence. It’s important to remember what each of these charges are, as they can ultimately determine the type of punishment the accused will receive.

You will need to rely on a trusted criminal defence lawyer if you are ever charged with crimes of this nature. Vladimir Semyonov is a manslaughter lawyer in Newmarket with immense knowledge and experience at all levels of the justice system. Semyonov works with you to resolve your case and improve your chances of an acquittal or negotiate for a reduced sentence.

In this article, we’ll go over the definitions of murder, manslaughter, and negligence and the differences between each of them.

 

Defining Murder

In Canadian criminal law, murder is defined as performing an action to intentionally cause the death of another person or to inflict bodily harm, knowing that death is likely to result. In a sense, simply intending to cause serious bodily harm to another person can meet the required definition.

Murder is classified as either in the manner of the 1st degree or 2nd degree. Murders that are planned and deliberate fall under the 1st degree category. All other chargers that do not fall under that category are classified as 2nd degree murders.

The most serious offence is 1st degree murder and the criminal code automatically deems it as such during the action of several other offences, even if they are not deliberate. Moreover, the murder of a police officer or prison guard is automatically a 1st degree offence.

For people over the age of 18 years, a conviction in the first-degree will land the offender a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. A second-degree conviction also results in a life sentence for the offender with no chance of parole for around 10-25 years, at the discretion of a judge.

 

What is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is classified as committing an unlawful act causing death, even when the intention was not to kill. Any “culpable homicide” that does not fall under the definition of murder is said to be classified as manslaughter. This includes any means of an unlawful act, criminal negligence, causing that person to do anything to contribute to their own death, or willfully intimidating that person.

Manslaughter is when the level of intent is less than a murder charge. Essentially, it is when someone does something wrong and someone else ends up dead because of said action. Although the offender did not intend to kill or cause bodily harm, the fact that they knew may result in such a charge.

Penalties for manslaughter vary depending on the case. It does not carry an automatic life sentence, but can be used as an option for a maximum sentence. There is no minimum sentence for such offences and can be used to bargain down an existing murder charge.

Exceptions to this if a firearm was used in the manslaughter. In this case, four years will be the minimum.

 

Criminal Negligence and Death 

Criminal negligence causing death can result in life imprisonment with parole eligibility after seven years. It is defined as showing a reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others and in doing anything or in omitting to do anything that is their supposed duty.

It is a separate offence to manslaughter that can be committed by a failure to act on a duty imposed by law. It does not apply to bystanders who witness someone in distress and chooses not to help.

Another form of negligence applies to young infants and women, known as Neglect in Child-Birth (formerly called “Infanticide.”) It requires females, who are pregnant and about to give birth, to make provisions for assistance in respect with the birth. Failure to do so, leading to a child’s death or permanent injury, is guilty of a serious offence. This also applies to concealing the child’s birth. The maximum penalty for this negligence is five years imprisonment.

 

Your Next Steps

Semyonov Law has a wealth of knowledge and experience in criminal defence law. We’ll work to deliver the best results for your case and represent you at any time. For more information call us at (647)-292-3377.

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What You Need to Know About Getting a DUI in Ontario | Criminal Defence Lawyer Newmarket

A DUI charge is a serious offence in Ontario and can be difficult to remove from your criminal record if convicted. You should not feel intimidated, however, as there are ways to build a strong case for yourself in certain circumstances. 

Whether you hire a private criminal defence lawyer or turn to a public attorney, you have a right to protect yourself if you have been charged with a DUI in Ontario. You should never feel like you are on your own in handling this issue. 

Semyonov Law will work with you to get the best outcome for your case. We’re an affordable DUI attorney team based out of Newmarket and are your first point of contact for legal aid. Our team of legal professionals will answer any questions you might have and provide all the information you need for your case. 

So, what exactly is a DUI and what can you do to protect yourself? We got the answers you want right here and can give you a good run-down. 

 

What’s a DUI? 

DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and is also known as impaired driving. Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation defines it as operating a vehicle with your ability compromised by consuming alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both substances. 

Such vehicles are not exclusive to automobiles and include trucks, boats, snowmobiles, or any other off-road vehicles. In the same manner, the use of cannabis, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medicine is also prohibited. 

DUI charges are determined by your level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and certain levels can get you in big trouble. If a police officer determines that you are intoxicated after an initial test, you can be charged with severe consequences. 

 

Who is Affected?

Impaired driving not only affects yourself but many others that you are close with or do not know at all. MADD Canada reports that between 1,250 and 1,500 lives are affected by DUIs and causes around 64,000 injuries in the country each year. They also estimate that about 12.5 million impaired driving trips are taken annually. 

Young drivers can be particularly vulnerable because of their minimal driving experience, inadequate judgement, or hasty decision-making. Approximately 45% of youth crash deaths are alcohol-related and one in three casualties in such incidents is under the age of 25. 

A DUI charge can seriously affect a young driver’s ability to get behind the wheel later on. The Ontario government enforces a strict zero-tolerance rule for novice drivers and anyone under the age of 21, stating that there must not be any trace of alcohol or drugs in your system. 

 

What are the Consequences?

Penalties for driving under the influence vary depending on your age/driving experience, BAC level, and the number of times an offence is committed. Deaths and injuries caused by DUIs are preventable and you should take preventative steps to avoid expensive fees and a criminal conviction. 

For first time offenders, some immediate penalties include a $250.00 fine and an unappealable three-day licence suspension. If convicted in court, the suspension extends to at least one year and you will be required to undergo a medical evaluation and attend a treatment program. 

Repeat offenders face stiffer fines and longer licence suspensions. If you are found guilty of multiple DUI charges within 10 years, this extends to a lifetime driving ban, vehicle impoundment, and potential jail time. You risk getting a permanent mark on your criminal record, affecting your ability for employment, financial aid, housing, and personal stability. 

 

How Do I Protect Myself?

As stated before, impaired driving is preventable and it is your responsibility to drive safely to the benefit of everyone on the road. You will keep yourself and many other innocent bystanders away from harm’s way. 

The most common solution to avoiding a DUI charge is to prepare a plan to get home safely after a night out. Rely on a designated driver or family member to give you a ride or use public transit or a taxi to get back home. If those solutions are not possible, stay at a hotel or a friend’s place. 

If you are using medical prescription or over-the-counter substances, be sure to check the information on the packages and consult your doctor or pharmacist about any potential side effects. 

Medical cannabis users are also cautioned because they can still face the same charges and penalties for impairment, even if they are authorized for its use. 

Distracted driving can also be another issue as carelessness can put you or someone else in danger. In addition to avoiding any alcohol or drugs, be sure to always have your eye on the road and not use a phone or electronic device while driving. 

 

Who Do I Turn to? 

When you have done all that you can, you can rely on our team at Semyonov Law to support and guide you through the process. We will prepare a strong defence in court on your behalf and improve your chances of an acquittal or try to facilitate a reduced sentence. 

We’re your trusted legal defense team in Newmarket, Ontario and you can contact us for additional information. 

Kindly note that the above material is intended to serve only as general information and not qualified legal advice.

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Bail Hearing: How to Prepare For Your Most Important Day in Court | Bail Hearings Lawyer Newmarket

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a criminal offence in Canada, the issue of bail will be broached. A bail hearing is an important proceeding for every individual who is detained (not released) by the police. 

But first, what exactly does bail mean? This is a written permission from court that allows an individual to be out of jail pending their trial or some other outcome in their case – whether that be a guilty plea or a withdrawal of charges. Granting or denying bail rests at the discretion of the court during the accused’s bail hearing. 

A person could be denied bail, in which case they will either have to remain in custody pending their trial (which could be months away) or put in an application for an appeal to review the bail decision in the Superior Court. 

Getting released on bail allows the individual to go back to their family and prepare for their trial in a stress-free manner. This is why it’s so important to have a good lawyer by your side during the bail hearing. 

Vladimir Semyonov is an experienced and affordable bail hearing lawyer in Newmarket, having successfully secured bail approvals for countless clients charged with everything from DUI to sexual assault. Rest assured, Semyonov will do everything in his power to strengthen your case in bail court. 

 

Overview of the Bail Process

When you are in police custody, you will first be booked or processed. During booking, the officer will record your personal information, take your fingerprints and photograph, and confiscate personal effects among other things. You will then be placed in a holding cell. 

Post booking, you will be subjected to an arraignment. This is where you are read the formal charges, whereupon you have the opportunity to make arrangements for your release. There are two different scenarios that could play out here.

Number one, for minor offences you may qualify for release on your own recognizance which means you sign a written promise to appear in court at the mentioned date, or,

Number two, a written promise doesn’t suffice, in which case, you will also be required to provide a financial guarantee that you will show up in court. This is “bail” or the amount of money you need to deposit to secure your release from police custody. 

If you secure a release on your own recognizance and do not appear in court on the prescribed date, a warrant could be issued for your arrest. Similarly, if the accused posts bail and fails to appear at court on the set date, bail will be forfeited. 

 

What Happens at Bail Court?

While bail proceedings differ from court to court, in general, a bail hearing decides whether bail should be granted to the accused and if so, what amount should be stipulated. For extreme offences, the court could deny your release altogether.

When granting bail, the court will examine certain factors such as the accused’s

– Mental and physical state

– Financial state

– Family ties

– History of alcohol or drug abuse

– Criminal record

During the bail proceedings, the Crown systematically details the allegations to court. This is done by a formal reading of the allegations that were present in the police synopsis. The Crown may call upon a witness to testify, in most cases, this witness is the officer leading the investigation. 

Following this, the accused’s defence has the opportunity to present evidence and may have the accused and/or their surety testify. 

Who is a surety? In some cases, the court may agree to grant bail on the understanding that a surety, person responsible for the accused, pledges to ensure the accused appears at court on the set date and abides by the conditions of the bail order. Essentially, a surety is someone who assumes responsibility for the accused while they’re out on bail. 

The court will set the monetary sum for the bail as well as stipulate other conditions that the accused may need to abide by such as limited travel liberties, curfew, revoking gun ownership, drug or alcohol testing, etc. 

 

What Happens After Bail is Granted

When the court has stipulated the bail amount (or percentage), the accused has to pay that amount to the court. So long as they show up at court on the set date, the bail amount will be returned. When bail has been posted, the accused will receive a document that allows for their release. 

 

What Happens if Bail is Denied

The Ontario Court of Justice only allows for one bail hearing. If you’re denied bail, you will remain in custody until your case reaches a resolution, goes to trial or you’re released after getting approved for bail at a bail review hearing in the Superior Court of Justice. 

A bail review is an appeal to overturn the decision made at the bail hearing. The accused will have to show either an alteration of circumstance or an error of law on the part of the Justice of Peace who presided over the initial bail hearing. 

Highlighting errors in the decision made by the Justice of Peace is a tricky process and has to be handled carefully and competently. That’s why we strongly urge you to contact Semyonov Law, a trusted and experienced criminal defence lawyer who knows the process like clockwork and works to secure the best outcome for you. 

 

Why a Criminal Defence Lawyer is So IMPORTANT During the Bail Process

Your bail proceeding is one of the most important parts of the legal process as it can make the difference between staying in custody and being released until your trial, which could be several months down the line. 

You need an experienced lawyer to represent your rights and interests. Semyonov Law will assist you at your bail hearing to greatly improve your chances of success. As a trusted criminal defence lawyer, Semyonov will prepare you for the questions you’re likely to face from the Crown lawyer and Justice of Peace. In some cases, Semyonov may even be able to negotiate with the Crown lawyer in advance and secure bail on reasonable terms. 

Don’t take a gamble when the repercussions are this big. Contact Semyonov Law today and improve your chances of obtaining bail.

Charged With a Sexual Assault? Remain Calm. A Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Guide You Through the Next Steps.

Sexual assault is viewed with considerable severity by the Crown. If you are facing charges of sexual assault, it’s important to remain calm and get in touch with an experienced Newmarket sexual assault defence lawyer as soon as possible to help you get the justice you deserve. 

Semyonov Law’s team of experienced lawyers have extensive expertise gleaned through years of representing clients at all court levels. We work around the clock to prepare you for the prosecutor’s questioning and strengthen your defence in court. 

This article will explore what sexual assault is and what potential charges you can face if you are convicted.

 

 

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault can be defined as any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates a person’s sexual integrity and dignity. This can encompass a variety of behaviours including inappropriate touching, groping, kissing or rape. 

Sexual assault hinges on the concept of consent. Sexual activity is only considered legal when both parties give their consent. Consent is defined in Canada’s Criminal Code in Section 273.1(1) as the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. The responsibility for ensuring there is consent is on the person who chooses to initiate sexual activity. 

The Criminal Code of Canada outlines the definition fo what behaviour constitutes an “assault” in Section 265:

(a) without acquiring the consent of the other individual, he/she uses force intentionally to that other individual, either directly or indirectly;

(b) he/she tries or threatens, through an act or gesture, to exert force to the other individual, if he/she has, or causes that other individual to believe on reasonable grounds that he/she has the ability to affect his/her purpose; or

(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or upon the understanding thereof, he/she engages in accosting or impeding another individual.

The Criminal Code of Canada also outlines 3 primary types of sexual assault, with each one carrying their own corresponding punishments:

 

Sexual Assault: an assault of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim. This involves minor physical injuries or no injuries to the victim. Sentencing is a case-by-case basis.

 

Sexual Assault with a Weapon (Section 272): when committing sexual assault, the perpetrator also carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon and causes bodily harm. This carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

 

Aggravated Sexual Assault (Section 273): in committing a sexual assault, the perpetrator wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the victim. This conviction can result in a maximum jail time of 14 years.

Another subset of sexual assault is sexual violence. Although sexual assault itself is not always violent, it can escalate into sexual violence, which is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or force.

 

 

Moving Forward Once Your Trial Date is Set

A trial date set today, for example, would mean that the trial itself is likely to take place 6-8 months down the line, if not a complete year. It is quite a lengthy process, as such, having a lawyer by your side eases the stress and gives you plenty of opportunity to prepare. 

On your behalf, we will file the necessary pre-trial applications, which may include the paperwork to have evidence thrown out, Charter applications, evidentiary applications, and the likes. 

At this time, we will also assess the complainant’s psychiatric records and other third-party applications, check if your rights were breached at any stake, and work out other legal and factual details. 

When your day in court arrives, the defence team will conduct a cross-examination of witnesses and highlight evidence that helps your defence, whether that entails pointing out inconsistencies, bases, weaknesses or improbabilities in the Crown’s version of events. 

These stages are crucial to your overall defence and we cannot stress enough how important it is to prepare well. Big cases could call for hundreds of hours of prep work. You need a reliable and experienced lawyer who can bring about the best results for your defence.  

 

 

Possible Convictions

If you are convicted of sexual assault charges, you face a high possibility of jail time. 

Generally, any person who is convicted of sexual assault will face jail time for all but the most minor incidents. This is done to deter such behaviour; the courts are trying to send a message that violating the sexual dignity of others will not be tolerated

Anyone who commits a sexual assault is guilty of two primary types of offences:

– An indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or

– An offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months

However, these are only rough numbers; punishment generally depends on the type of sexual assault committed. The length of jail time will depend upon the nature and severity of the assault committed, whether the accused has a prior criminal record for any other offences and the accused’s background or character. If the accused is a person of previous good character, this can help reduce the jail term.

In addition to the sentence passed down by a judge, offenders will be required to register in the National Sex Offender Registry. They must provide information such as their address, phone number and make of their vehicle for identification purposes. A convicted person will also be required to submit a DNA sample to assist in future criminal investigations and will be unable to cross the border. 

 

 

The Benefits of Contacting a Criminal Defence Lawyer Immediately

Contacting a trusted sexual assault lawyer in Newmarket as soon as possible is highly advisable since sexual assault charges are treated very seriously in court. Your lawyer can explain the process, provide support, have evidence that was obtained not pursuant to the law disregarded and protect your rights. 

They possess the legal knowledge and expertise to help strengthen your case and navigate you through the complex legal system, preparing you effectively for the prosecutor’s questioning.

Even if you aren’t convicted, a sexual assault charge can have a lasting impact on your life. If you are facing sexual assault charges, you will need an experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights. 

 

Contact Semyonov Law as soon as possible and get your defence started today.

Domestic Violence: Definition, Penalties and How to Strengthen Your Defense in Court

Allegations of domestic violence are major offences in Canada and are taken very seriously by police. If you find yourself facing allegations of domestic violence, it’s extremely important to make sure that you get in touch with an affordable Newmarket domestic assault lawyer as soon as possible to help fight the charges.

 

Semyonov Law is an experienced legal team ready to handle your case. Our team works tirelessly to ensure you have the best representation and that you are equipped with all the knowledge you need to take a stand in court.

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into domestic violence allegations.

 

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be a difficult offence to pin down. There is no concrete definition of domestic violence specified within the Criminal Code of Canada, but domestic assault is outlined under the section for assaults. 

 

To put it simply, domestic violence can be seen as any harmful behaviour towards anyone residing in the same household. Most people think of domestic violence as physical abuse; however it can take many non-physical forms including psychological abuse, uttering threats, harassment, stalking, or any other crime committed in a domestic setting.  

 

In this case, the term “domestic” refers to a situation where any two people are involved in an intimate relationship. Most people typically think of spousal abuse, but in Ontario, domestic violence laws differ from other provinces because they include non-romantic partners when considering whether a situation is truly classified as domestic violence

 

As Per Ontario’s Domestic Violence Protection Act, victims of domestic violence can be spouses, common-law partners, parents and children, family members, etc. This behaviour often serves as a method of asserting control over another person, and prevents them from reporting the abuse through fear of more pain. 

 

This creates an imbalance of power in the relationship and leaves the victim feeling fearful and helpless. In the eyes of the law in Ontario, every person has the right to feel safe and comfortable around the people they are living with.

 

As a result of all the potential factors involved,  it ultimately lies with the court to decide whether an offence is considered to be “domestic”. 

 

What Are The Penalties of a Domestic Violence Charge?

Incidents of domestic violence are treated more seriously than other forms of assault. If a court finds you guilty of domestic violence, there are several potential penalties you could be facing. On one hand, you may be forced to pay restitution to the victim to cover property damage or medical expenses.

 

In some cases, it is possible for you to be charged to complete domestic violence intervention programs, which have the potential to reduce later sentencing. On the other end of things, if you are accused of domestic violence, there is a possibility that you could face severe jail time before being able to receive probation. It is best to formulate your defence with an experienced Newmarket criminal lawyer in order to ensure the best possible outcome. 

 

How To Strengthen Your Defence In Court

Domestic violence charges can be very difficult to deal with and the trials for such cases can also be challenging as well. The key to having a strong defence against allegations of domestic violence is to enlist the services of a lawyer who understands criminal proceedings directly related to such charges.  An experienced lawyer will be able to explain how best to fight the charges and provide customized legal counsel according to your specific situation.

 

If you are facing charges of domestic violence, one very important thing you should do is to make sure to follow all instructions provided by a police officer. Even if you believe yourself to be innocent, failure to follow instructions can potentially result in a harsher sentence. It may be a good idea to write down your account of events in full and present it to your lawyer prior to the trial. This can help your lawyer strengthen your defence. 

 

Having an experienced defence lawyer also comes into play In the courtroom. An experienced lawyer can aThey can provide guidance to obtain the best possible result and work to make sure the truth of the case comes out in court.

 

It’s our priority at Semyonov Law to make sure you get the justice you deserve. Call us at (647) 292-3377 today to review your case and get you the justice you deserve.

 

Kindly note that the above material is intended to serve only as general information and not qualified legal advice.

Charged With a First-Time DUI? Here’s What You Must Do Next.

You’re likely here because you’re facing a DUI charge. If so, don’t panic. We’ve compiled some information to guide you through the next steps!

What is a DUI charge? Driving while under the influence in Canada is a serious offence and comes with varying penalties based on the severity of the case. This offence includes operating a vehicle when impaired by a drug, an alcohol or a combination of the two. If you or a loved one are charged with a DUI, don’t panic. Semyonov Law is here to guide you through the process. 

It’s best to act quickly when it comes to a DUI charge. Semyonov Law is an affordable DUI attorney in Newmarket with extensive experience of the legal system in Canada. Our team’s collective expertise has been gleaned through years upon years of representing clients at all levels of court. 

We will answer your questions accurately and help move your case forward quickly so that you can spend as much time away from the courtroom as possible. Our team works around the clock to elevate your chances of an acquittal. 

Without further ado, let’s answer the main questions running through your mind right now!

 

 

  • What should I do first when I get charged with a DUI?

 

Officers are emboldened by the law to stop drivers at random and request that they undergo a breath test or perform a series of physical tests to check for impairment. If there exists reasonable grounds to suspect impairment and the driver fails these tests, they may get arrested. 

Note, if you fail to comply with the officer’s requests, you may be subject to a license suspension for 90 days. Upon arrest, the officer will escort you to the station or a testing facility to undergo further tests. 

At this juncture, you aren’t legally bound to comply with such tests without FIRST contacting a drunk driving criminal defence lawyer. We advise you to do so immediately and exercise your right to silence until the lawyer gives you further instructions. 

 

 

  • What are the penalties of a first-time DUI offence?

 

Most DUI offences in Canada are pursued under a summary conviction rather than an indictment. The driver convicted of a DUI may face;

– A fine of $1,000 or more

– A license suspension

– An 18-month jail sentence

– Ignition interlock on the vehicle

– Mandatory completion of a rehabilitative drug program

– Medical evaluation to gauge whether the driver is fit to drive again

Even if you get convicted, an experienced criminal defence lawyer can use legal loopholes to lessen your sentence. This is why it’s so so important to reach out to a lawyer who has handled these types of cases before. 

 

 

  • How long does a DUI stay on my record?

 

This stays on the police database forever, unless you apply for a record suspension. Insurance rates are likely to be way more expensive for at least 3 years from the date of the conviction. Employers will have access to this information when they run a background check on you. 

You have the option of applying for a record suspension when 5 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction. If you meet the eligibility criteria which include not committing further offences among other things, your record will be sealed and not available to inquiries by employers. 

A record suspension does not erase the DUI, it just makes it less accessible and hence, job searches may become easier and insurance more obtainable. 

 

 

  • What happens to my car when I get arrested for a DUI?

 

One of a couple of different scenarios could play out;

  • An officer may take your vehicle to the station and contact one of your family members to come pick it up.
  • You may be permitted to call a family member or friend on-scene and have them come pick the vehicle up.
  • If you are to be briefly detained, the police will leave the vehicle where it is and allow you to come pick it up later.
  • The vehicle is impounded and you may retrieve it from the lot once you are released from custody. 

 

 

  • Should I get a public defender or a private lawyer for my DUI?

 

This is, of course, entirely up to you. Here’s what you need to know before making that decision. 

Public defenders might be cheaper, however, they have a very heavy workload and pay little attention to the outcome of each case. A private criminal defence lawyer, on the other hand, will spend one-on-one time with you to understand the intricacies of your case. They will try their very best to get you cleared of all charges. Every time a case doesn’t swing in the private lawyer’s favour, their business takes a hit. 

As such, you can expect a great level of care and detail with a private attorney. 

 

A DUI is a Serious Offence in Canada – Act Quickly!

At Semyonov Law, we will carefully review your arrest details and work around the clock to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Our Newmarket defence team specializes in challenging cases and routinely secures not-guilty verdicts for people charged with DUIs. 

We’re standing by! Contact us to improve your chances of getting cleared of your DUI charge. 

 

Kindly note that the above material is meant to serve as general information, and not legal advice. 

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