At VM Law, we are focused on helping clients from start to finish on a variety of criminal offences, including but not limited to the below.
If you are arrested for a criminal offence and have not been released by the police, then you will be taken to court before a Justice of the Peace within 24 hours to address bail. At the Bail Hearing, the Justice of the Peace will determine whether you are to be released pending trial, this can involve being released on your own or alternatively with a surety under specific conditions. If you are denied bail, you will remain in custody pending trial. To enhance the chances of release, it is important to retain a competent lawyer to represent you.
The First Appearance is an administrative stage whereby you will be required to appear before a Justice of the Peace at court. During this stage, the Crown Attorney will be providing you with disclosure. The disclosure outlines the allegations against you, this information will also assist you in making an application to Legal Aid Ontario and assist in retaining a lawyer to represent you throughout the legal process.
Following receipt of disclosure, a Crown Pre-Trial takes place. This is a resolution meeting between your lawyer and the Crown Attorney. The purpose is to determine if the Crown is proceeding on the charges and if there is some form of resolution by way of a withdrawal, diversion or a plea. If there is no resolution, then the next stage is a Judicial Pre-trial, whereby the matter is before a Judge to discuss the merits of the case and determine if there is a possible resolution or if there are issues to take the matter to trial.
Only you can decide and instruct your lawyer to plead guilty. If you intend to plead guilty then your lawyer and the Crown Attorney will negotiate the charges to plea to, which facts are being accepted and the sentence to impose. Once a plea has been entered, the Judge will then determine a just and appropriate sentence based on a variety of factors and circumstances.
At the trial stage, the Crown will present evidence and make their case against you.
After the Crown’s case, you or your lawyer will be allowed to present your evidence and make a case for your innocence.
At the completion of the trial process, the Judge or Jury would render a guilty or not guilty verdict.