What to expect in a Criminal Trial Procedure

What to expect in a Criminal Trial Procedure

The purpose of a trial is for the prosecutor to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt,” (in other words, any uncertainty of the accused’s innocence has been eliminated and there is reliable proof of their guilt) that the accused committed a crime. A trial is held in a courtroom.

Preliminary Hearing

The beginning of the process is the preliminary hearing. During this step, the Court evaluates whether there is sufficient evidence to begin a trial for the case. The prosecutor’s role is to present substantial evidence against the accused. Witnesses of the crime are sometimes called to court as their testimony is considered a valid form of evidence. If evidence is not found then there will be no trial, if it is and the charge pleads not guilty there will be one.


During the trial, the prosecutor and defense lawyer tries their best to present the case in their favor by using evidence and witnesses who testify. Although they may have already testified in the preliminary hearing, it is essential for witnesses to testify at trial. 

Being a witness at a trial may be challenging. To make the process less difficult, the Court may provide the victim of the crime with the option of giving testimony using testimonial aids. The victim may:

· Testify through a closed-circuit television so that the victim is outside the courtroom;

· Testify from behind a screen or other device so that the victim cannot see the accused; or

· Have a support person sit close to the victim when he or she testifies.

The prosecutor is the first to begin the trial process and the defence lawyer follows the lead. The accused person has the option to be silent or to speak during the trial. By doing so, they subject themselves to cross-examination by the prosecutor and may have to answer questions.

The prosecutor and defense lawyer will sum up the evidence to show their side. The prosecutor has to prove, without any doubt, that the accused person was the one who committed a crime.

Court System

The Court of Ontario has two divisions: The Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice. The Superior Court of Justice is for hearing more serious cases, such as divorces and criminal actions. The Ontario Court of Justice deals with less serious crimes and has a preliminary hearing for more serious cases.

If you have any questions about the process, do not hesitate to contact us at Tailor Law Professional Corporation. We have highly skilled lawyers who will assist you with legal advice. You may contact us at 905-366-0202, or visit our website here.

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