3. Understand the evidence in your case
To prove a case , the Crown can use different types of evidence. Examples of evidence include:
- A witness who tells the judge what they saw. This is known as “oral ”. It’s up to the judge if they believe the witness.
- Documents. For example, a certified copy of your document, called a “ of bail”.
- Photos or videos.
- Objects found at the crime scene. These are known as “real evidence”.
The Crown must give you a copy of all the evidence they plan to use in your case. The copy you get is called “disclosure“.
The Crown will normally give you some disclosure inside the courtroom the first time you go to court. Often you won’t get all your at once. You may have to go back to court a few times before you get it all.
Review any disclosure you get and look for important items, including:
- a police summary of the case
- police officers’ notes
- witness statements
- photos or videos
- a copy of your bail document, also called a “recognizance of bail”
- Crown position, which is the that the Crown will agree to if you
If you think something is missing from your disclosure, you can write a letter to the Crown to ask for it. Then on your next court date ask the Crown if they have your missing disclosure.
You have the right to get your disclosure before you decide whether to plead guilty or set a date for . You should tell the judge in court if the Crown is not giving you disclosure that you asked for.
After you review your disclosure, you can decide if you think the Crown has enough evidence to prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
It’s a good idea to have a lawyer review your disclosure with you before you decide what to do in your case. Even if you think the Crown has enough evidence about what happened, you may still have a legal defence.