Criminal Defence Law in Calgary: Part 5

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Criminal Defence Law in Calgary: Part 5

After being charged with a crime in Calgary, you are entitled to a fair trial to determine whether or not your are guilty in the eyes of the law. Before the trial can begin, there are a number of things that go on "behind the scenes;" your Calgary defence lawyer will walk you through this pre-trial process.

Choosing the Trial Method in Calgary's Courts

Many Calgary citizens don’t know that they have a choice as to what type of trial they have after being accused of certain crimes. For many charges, you can choose to have trial in front of a judge in a provincial court, a trial by judge and jury in a superior court, or a trial by a superior justice alone. Your Calgary criminal defence lawyer will help you decide which trial type available to you is best for your particular case, and is most likely to lead to the outcome in your best interests.

Calgary's Preliminary Hearing Process

Once your trial type has been determined, your defence lawyer will accompany you to a preliminary hearing. This hearing takes place to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to warrant a full trial. Defence lawyers play a major role in this part of the legal process in the Calgary courts; they ensure that law enforcement officers and Crown prosecutors obey the rules of evidence and other procedures in place to protect your rights.

If your defence lawyer is able to demonstrate a lack of sufficient evidence to go trial, you will be released and able to resume your life as an ordinary Calgary citizen. Under certain circumstances, your defence lawyer may recommend waiving the preliminary hearing and proceeding directly to trial.

Pre-trial Conference Before a Calgary Judge

Your defence lawyer, the prosecutor, and the judge meet before the trial to discuss the elements of the case. These include evidence and the witnesses to be called before the judge and/or jury. At this time your Calgary defence lawyer can expose anything that the prosecution hasn’t presented in a sufficient manner. The judge will determine if any evidence or witness testimony should be kept out of the courtroom, and you and your defence lawyer can develop a final strategy for your trial.

Plea Bargains in Calgary

A plea bargain happens when both sides agree that the accused has plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges being brought against them, or the withdrawal of additional charges. Your defence lawyer will help you determine whether or not a plea bargain is in your best interest, and will negotiate a plea with the Crown prosecutors and a Calgary judge if you agree that it is the best course of action. Many plea bargains result in probation and/or community service, and do not require any jail time.

Your Calgary Defence Lawyer is Essential to the Pre-Trial Process

The pre-trial process can be long and confusing. It's something that happens behind the scenes, and most people in Calgary know nothing about it. An experienced Calgary defence lawyer has been through the process many times before, and can help you make sense out of the confusion.

For a free consultation with Calgary lawyer David G. Chow, contact his office today and start getting the answers and the insight you need.