What To Expect In Criminal Court

Scales of Justice

Facing criminal charges can be stressful, but being prepared for what lies ahead of you can certainly help. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what they can expect from their trial and what their experience in the courtroom will be like. Going in blind can be terrifying, so this guide will help you determine what you can anticipate from criminal court. 

Notification of Trial

The first thing you might go through for your criminal trial is the police’s decision to lay a charge and then prosecute. Once it reaches this stage, you will be required to show up for court. People who may already have a criminal record or who are facing extremely serious charges may be held in jail until the hearing. 

You may receive a bail hearing to discuss whether you can be released before this trial date. 

If you have not been apprehended by the local authorities, chances are that you will receive a notice in the mail about an upcoming court hearing. It should contain all the details you need, such as the date, time, and specific location. 

Choosing Your Trial Court

The first court hearing is a preliminary inquiry to find out if there is enough evidence to warrant the Crown taking you to trial. Both sides may call and cross-examine any witnesses or parties to the offence. If the court believes that there’s enough evidence, they will set a trial date. 

For those facing an indictable offence, you may have an option about what type of trial court will hear your case. You can choose a provincial court judge without a jury and without a preliminary inquiry or a Queen’s Bench justice (with or without a jury). 

The Trial

Once you’re in the courtroom, both sides have an opportunity to present their case. The prosecution begins by presenting all of the evidence against you and calling witnesses. The defence is allowed to cross-examine those witnesses before the prosecution has another turn. 

Your defence goes second, presenting its evidence and calling witnesses to the stand. It is identical to the process that prosecution goes through and gives you an opportunity to tell your side of the story. Much like before, the prosecution now has a chance to cross-examine. 

Finally, both sides will summarize their case and why they believe you should or should not be convicted. This leaves the judge or jury with one last impression of both sides of the case. Finally, the judge, along with any jury present, will decide whether to convict or acquit your case. 

Hiring a Great Professional Lawyer

Knowing what to expect from criminal court can help put your mind at ease. If you’re currently facing charges, you need a professional criminal lawyer in Winnipeg to help you navigate this system easily. Brodsky Amy & Gould can help you find the representation you need for an upcoming court date. Give us a call today to see how we can help you!