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In Canada, you are innocent until proven guilty. And proving someone’s guilt in a court of law is not as easy as you might think. To prevent innocent people from being convicted, a strict set of rules and procedures governs criminal trials. These rules and procedures are there to protect you. If you are facing criminal charges, do not assume that you will be convicted. For the professional help that you need in the Ottawa area, contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer Sean May.
You are innocent until proven guilty.
The burden of proof is on the prosecution, not you. You do not have to prove your innocence. A criminal charge is an unproven accusation. Sometimes accusations cannot be proved, in which case the charges must be dismissed.
What does the prosecution have to prove?
Criminal law is complex. The prosecution is required to prove each element of the offence for each charge against you, including:
Identity: the prosecution must prove that it was you who committed the crime. Sometimes this can be impossible to prove, and the charges must be dismissed.
Jurisdiction: Does the court have jurisdiction over both you and the charge? For example, a theft charge allegedly committed in British Columbia cannot be tried in an Ontario court.
Time frame: Was the charge laid before the expiration of any limitation period? Some charges must be laid within a certain period of time, or they cannot be laid at all.
Was what you did a crime? For example, if you purchased what you believed to be an illegal drug and the police charged you with possession if it turns out that the seller sold you something that merely looked like a drug, then you were not in possession of an illegal substance. For each charge, there will be specific facts that the prosecution must prove. Sean May will explain to you which specific elements the prosecution must prove in your case and will provide you with an assessment regarding the prosecution’s chances of success. This type of analysis will allow you to make a fully informed decision about the best way to proceed and how to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation.