What is Disclosure and Why Does it Matter?

Disclosure refers to the evidence that the prosecutor and the police say supports the charges against you.  It is very important because you are entitled to know all of the evidence against you.  Before the case goes to court, you are legally entitled to know the evidence against you.  If disclosure was not part of the criminal process, those charged with criminal offences would not be able to prepare a good defence.  By knowing the evidence that the Crown and police believe demonstrates your guilt, you and your lawyer can work on a case to fight the charges.

A good lawyer will review the evidence in great detail to see if there is a way to challenge the evidence and try to get the prosecutor to drop the charges.  Evidence can be challenged or determined inadmissible for a variety of reasons and a good lawyer will use every legal argument at their disposal to try to challenge the evidence.  If you are not successful at getting the criminal charges dropped and the case goes to trial, it is possible to try to challenge the evidence in court.  It is important not to give up hope just because your case goes to trial.  In some situations, evidence can still be successfully challenged during the trial.  In either circumstance, disclosure is a very important part of the criminal process and can certainly help in achieving a successful outcome.

The criminal lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth have experience in challenging evidence both in and out of the courtroom.  They have success in having charges dropped and in arguing that certain evidence is inadmissible.  If you are interested in learning more about disclosure and how you may be able to obtain a good defence, contact the lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  They will be able to go over your case in detail and will work with you to come up with a strategy towards a successful outcome.

Crown Disclosure in an Ontario Criminal Case

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – A “disclosure” is the evidence (usually documents) which supports the criminal charges against you. The crown must gove complete disclosure to your criminal defence lawyer.

This disclosure must contain all the facts of the case that have come to the attention of the police or the crown, whether or not they hurt the crown’s case.

1.      If the Crown has to give  disclosure, do I as the accused have to give disclosure to the police?

No. While the preparation of a disclosure is a necessary step for the Crown, the accused in the case is not in any way obligated share any info with the crown or the police.

2.      Is the crown also obligated to provide me with a copy of the disclosure? When can I get it, and do I have to pay a fee?

Yes, the disclosure will be provided to your criminal defence lawyer. The Crown must make a copy to give to the accused, and must also pay any expenses for that redistribution. You are entitled to receive this before your criminal trial, and before you are asked to plead either guilty or not guilty.

3.      I believe something is missing from the disclosure that has been prepared in my case.

Your right to a complete disclosure is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If something has been left out, discuss it privately with your lawyer – there are a number of options you can pursue for setting the record straight, and you could even have your case dismissed from criminal court.

Have you been charged with an Ontario criminal offence and have doubts about your case disclosure? A top criminal lawyer can help you understand the disclosure process and how to use it in your favour. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.