The Legal Process
When facing criminal charges in Canada, it is important to understand your responsibilities and the rules of the legal system as the case progresses, starting with the first appearance. Court staff can offer limited assistance, but it is ultimately up to you (or your lawyer) to ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities and comply with the rules of the justice system. The legal process is based on the principle that individuals are innocent until proven guilty and includes the investigation of a crime, the decision to lay a criminal charge, and the right to a fair and impartial trial. The trial process involves the presentation of evidence, the opportunity to question witnesses, and a decision by a judge or jury. If an individual is found guilty, the judge determines the sentence. The individual has the right to appeal if they believe there was an error in the legal process.