A criminal trial lawyer will aggressively protect your rights and assist you with process through which the prosecution presents their evidence of the case to a judge or jury and through which defence counsel is entitled to question that evidence. The criminal trial process is where the rules of criminal procedure and evidence come together in a way designed to structure the presentation and weighing of evidence, whether presented by the Crown or defence. Contact our office for a free 30 min consultation to discuss your rights.
Criminal trials are either conducted by judge alone or by judge and jury. For most accused persons in most situations, their trial will be before a judge alone. The trial process begins by the Crown prosecutor calling their case. In other words, the Crown calls and questions all of their witnesses and tenders all of their exhibits. Defence counsel will have an opportunity to cross-examine all of the Crown’s witnesses, and can object to the admissibility of evidence that should not enter into the judge’s deliberative process. After the Crown has closed their case, the defence has an opportunity to present evidence. Once both Crown and defence have presented their evidence, each side has an opportunity to make arguments before the judge makes his or her final decision.
The Crown must prove each and every element of every offence beyond a reasonable doubt. An accused person will not be found guilty if the evidence merely establishes that he or she is probably guilty. Moreover, an accused person has no obligation to prove his or her innocence. However, if the Crown calls enough evidence, the accused person might, as a matter of tactical necessity, be required to call evidence to rebut the Crown’s case.
Criminal trials are high stakes, complicated proceedings that involve many different rules of evidence and procedure with which accused persons are unfamiliar. These rules do not simply relate to the elements of the offence, but also to things such as the admissibility Crown evidence, the cross-examination of Crown witnesses, arguments about rights infringements, and the presentation of defence evidence. We highly recommend seeking out the advice of defence counsel if you are considering proceeding to trial.
If you have any questions, contact our offices now so we can help address you or your loved one’s legal jeopardy. We are available 24/7. We are forceful advocates and we ensure that our clients throughout Alberta are provided with the best defence possible.