Prepare your Defence
There are 3 main ways you can “win” your trial
1. Finding of not guilty
If the court is unable to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you did commit the crime you are being accused of, the Justice will have to find you not guilty.
There are many ways to reach a finding of not guilty. Some of these include:
- Insufficient evidence in disclosure
- Key witnesses, such as the police officer, failing to show up
- However, if the officer has a legitimate excuse for not showing up to trial such as for example, he called in sick to work, the prosecutor may request an adjournment. If the Justice grants the adjournment, instead of your ticket being dropped, your trial date will be rescheduled to a later date.
- If the prosecutor requests an adjournment for any reason, you will be asked in court whether or not you wish to challenge their request. You can make an argument to why the adjournment should not be allowed and the Justice will decide on whether or not to grant it.
- Inconsistencies in the witnesses’ (including the police officer) statements during cross-examination.
A finding of not guilty means no points, no fine, and no conviction.
NOTE: You should always order your disclosure – Proving that you’re not guilty is nearly impossible without ordering your disclosure. Click Here to learn more about Requesting Disclosure.
2. Stay of Proceedings
A stay means stopping the trial, as going forward with it would be unfair to you. A common reason for a stay is that the trial would violate your rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
There are many reasons why one would want to request a stay. Some of these may include:
- If a trial takes too long (i.e. many months have passed since the date of the offense), your right to a speedy trial will allow you to request a stay.
- If the court fails to provide you with proper disclosure, you may request a stay.
- If you request an interpreter, and the court fails to provide you with one, you may request a stay.
A stay means no points, no fine, and no conviction.
Click Here for more information on Stay of Proceeding and your rights.
3. Reduced Charge (Not ideal)
It is possible to obtain a reduced charge, which can often qualify as a “win”. This is what many legal professionals mean when they say “I’ll win your case or it’s free”. A reduced charge can be obtained by pleading guilty to the charge— this allows the courts to get an easy conviction. Even with a reduced charge, you will still be fined and convicted (although it is possible you won’t get any points).