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Plea Options

Anyone facing criminal charges should research the rules dictating how trials are conducted

Exploring Plea Options in Criminal Court

If you have been charged with a crime in Canada, you should consult with a criminal defence lawyer in your area

Plea Options - Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Legal Terms

Actus reus

Latin for "guilty act" and one of the two elements of a crime the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to win a conviction.


An accused person has the right to the disclosure of all relevant information  in the possession of the Crown, with the exception of privileged information. This typically occurs before the accused has to decide whether to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Mens rea

Mens rea refers to having criminal intent, knowledge, or recklessness since the person is aware of their misconduct. The literal translation from Latin is "guilty mind." The Crown needs to show that the accused had mens rea to win a conviction. 

Reasonable doubt

The Supreme Court of Canada has said that reasonable doubt “falls much closer to absolute certainty than to proof on a balance of probabilities” and “that something less than absolute certainty is required, and that something more than probable guilt is required."

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