This lesson contains 17 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.
Items in this lesson
The two lawyers in a criminal trial are:
Defense Council and Crown Prosecutor
Defense Council and Duty Council
Crown Prosecutor and Crown Solicitor
Defense Council and Court Clerk
Slide 1 - Quiz
The pre-trial hearing held to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward to a trial is a(n)
Slide 2 - Quiz
About how many criminal cases end with a plea negotiation?
Slide 3 - Quiz
If you admit to your lawyer that you are guilty...
They can no longer represent you
You must now plead guilty in court
Your lawyer can put on any kind of defense for you anyway
Your lawyer can still defend you, but cannot offer an alibi defense to say that you did not do the crime.
Slide 4 - Quiz
Which statement is false
You are innocent until proven guilty.
The defense has the burden of proof to prove the defendant innocent.
A lack of disclosure can lead to wrongful convictions.
An adjournment is a break in court proceedings.
Slide 5 - Quiz
Meeting with your Defense Council
A defendant should tell his lawyer everything connected to the case in order to prepare the best defence.
However, if a person tells his lawyer that he committed the crime, the lawyer can not argue at trial that his client did not do it. Ie the Defence can not call an alibi witness, as that would be false evidence.
Slide 6 - Slide
The defence lawyer can only attack the
Crown’s case. The defence will try to poke holes in the Crown’s case in order to raise a reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt.
An admission of guilt does not mean that a defence can’t be presented.
Slide 7 - Slide
Attacking the Crown's Case
The defence will try to poke holes in the Crown’s case in order to raise a reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt.
Like in this classic clip from the movie My Cousin Vinnie. It's titled 'The Defense is Wrong' but what the clip is really depicting is how the defense attorney uses a witness to discredit evidence provided by the Crown Prosecutor.
Slide 8 - Slide
Disclosure is one of the most important features of our CJS because it ensures that the defendant gets a fair trial.
The Crown must disclose, or tell/give, the defence all information and evidence it has related to case .
Evidence gathered by the police is considered property of the public, not the Crown.
Slide 9 - Slide
Lack of disclosure is a significant factor in wrongful convictions ie Steven Truscott (other suspect), David Milgaard (changing stories of witnesses, paid testimony).
The only thing the defence has to disclose to the Crown is if they plan on using an alibi defence, so that the Crown can investigate .
Slide 10 - Slide
After all disclosure has been made, there is usually a preliminary hearing before a judge to determine if there is enough evidence against the accused to proceed to trial.
Prelim hearings are only for the most serious (indictable) offences.
If there is not enough evidence against the accused to go to trial, then the charges will be dropped.
Slide 11 - Slide
When the accused appears in court for his or her arraignment, the charges are read
and a plea of guilty or not guilty is entered.
About 90% plead guilty.
Slide 12 - Slide
Resolution Discussions and Plea Negotiations
Before trial, the Crown and the defence participate in resolution discussions.
This is a meeting between both sides to try to resolve the case without a trial
This may result in a plea negotiation, a deal for a guilty plea to a lesser charge
Slide 13 - Slide
Pros of Plea Negotiations
Saves court time-Courts are overloaded and cases can be thrown out due to unreasonable delays in getting to trial. This makes the practice is using plea negotiations very important to our criminal justice system.
Saves money- trials are expensive
Can save victims and families further suffering
Slide 14 - Slide
Cons of Plea Negotiations
Often seen as compromising justice ie if someone is guilty of premeditated murder, shouldn’t they have to serve a sentence for first degree murder? Ie The “deal with the devil”- most infamous plea bargain in Canadian history.
Innocent defendants may feel pressured to plead guilty for fear of a more severe penalty