The criminal cases usually start with a police arrest report or with a grand jury issuing a criminal indictment. After the arrest, the police will give their report to a prosecutor who initiates criminal cases. The prosecutor after receiving the report will then decide whether the case should be pursued in court, dismissed or taken to a grand jury. After an arrest, the arresting officer will specify the crime that was the basis of the arrest and if necessary, recommend additional charges in the prosecution file. The police report is a summary of the events leading to the arrest and contains numerous details including location, time, date and names of witnesses.
A defendant will learn about the formal charges at the first court appearance but the prosecution can change the charges later until after the preliminary hearing. If the prosecution has decided to proceed with the charges, it is a good idea to look for one of the best Toronto criminal lawyers to represent you in court. You are entitled for a preliminary hearing if the prosecution decides to file a felony complaint instead of filing the case. At the hearing, the prosecution is required to show that the state has adequate advice to warrant a trial. If the case proceeds by the grand jury indictment, there will be no preliminary hearing.
Once you are indicted, you should start preparing your defense. Irrespective of the charges, you should hire one of the best Toronto criminal lawyers to prepare your defense. If not well defended, any criminal charge can lead to jail time or even exorbitant fines. There are many defenses that you can choose to pursue from I did it for self-defense to I did not do it. The ‘I did not do it’ defense takes advantage of the fact that the task is on the prosecution to prove that the accused is guilty. Although the defense can choose to remain silent, most people choose to present witnesses and argue that the prosecution is unable to prove its case.
In cases where the prosecution has adequate evidence to prove that the accused is guilty, most accused choose the ‘I did it but for self-defense’ argument. The cases of self-defense depend on who is the aggressor, the amount of force used and whether the act was necessary. The reasoning for self-defense cases is that people should be allowed to protect themselves. However, the individual is expected to use reasonable force irrespective of the situation.
If you are facing criminal charges, you should immediately consult an experienced defense attorney. Involving an experienced criminal lawyer at the earliest stage of your case will increase the charges of you winning the case as the lawyer will have adequate time to prepare your defense. The lawyer will also help you know and understand your options for the best possible outcome.