A criminal conviction can be a life altering event. Often, a person's employment, ability to travel, and social life can be seriously disrupted by obtaining a criminal record. And if you already have prior convictions, another offence could result in a very strict sentence.
However, everyone who is charged with a crime has the right to due process at every stage of their interaction with the law. This entitlement begins from the minute you make contact with a police officer, and continues through the investigation, interview, charging and administrative Court process. For example, you have the right to remain silent, and you have the right to speak to a lawyer if you wish to do so. The failure to follow due process can significantly shift the outcome of the case in your favour.
Furthermore, one of the most fundamental aspects of the Criminal Justice system is the requirement that the Crown must prove its case against an accused person, beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown must meet this standard at your trial, and everyone is entitled to such a trial. This proceeding gives your defence lawyer the opportunity to ensure that the Crown is rigorously held to this standard.
We have illustrated the following resources below to help you learn about the criminal justice system. Click on any topic to learn more about that topic.