Will I Be Found Guilty of my Criminal Charges?

Whether or not you are found guilty at a trial will depend on whether the crown attorney can prove a guilty act and a guilty mind.

In order to prove guilt, the crown must prove two parts for every criminal offence.  The crown must prove an act (actus reus) was committed by you and that you had the criminal mental intention (mens rea) to commit the act.  There is no guilty act without a guilty mind.

To prove the guilty act, the crown has to show:

a) an action (or omission of an action)

b) by a person with capacity

c) in a voluntary manner

d) which caused certain consequences.

If there is any reasonable doubt about whether these aspects of the alleged criminal act occurred, the court must find you not guilty.  You do not need to testify and your lawyer does  not have to prove that the alleged criminal act did not occur.  You can remain totally silent because the burden of proof is on the crown.

Criminal Lawyer: What You Need to Know

When you are hiring a criminal lawyer for your case, you probably won’t be considering whether your lawyer will do everything he can to ensure he collects all of the Crown disclosure in your case before consenting to set a trial date.  But, in many cases, that is exactly what you need your criminal defence lawyer to do.

“Crown disclosure”  is all of the evidence that the Crown has in your case, whether it helps or hurts you.  Shortly after your arrest, usually at the second or third remand appearance, the Crown will give you or your lawyer a package of disclosure.  However, it is very rare that everything the accused is entitled to is produced in that packet.  An experienced criminal defence lawyer knows how to make a fulsome request to ensure that you get all the evidence you need to develop the defence of your case.

Very often, police officer’s notes from one of the officers involved are overlooked by the Crown or interview notes or other details are omitted.   Every time a new set of notes is located, the defence lawyer has a chance to detect discrepancies that may be enough to give rise to a reasonable doubt.

The bottom line?  You need a criminal defence lawyer who digs for all the evidence in your case.