A Comprehensive Guide to Criminal Court Proceedings in Toronto

Facing criminal charges in Toronto or the surrounding areas can be a daunting experience. The complexities of the legal system and the potential life-altering consequences make it essential to understand the criminal court proceedings in the Greater Toronto Area. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through each stage of the process, shedding light on the various steps involved and providing valuable insights to help you navigate the system with confidence.

Whether you’re facing charges for the first time or simply seeking to educate yourself on the legal process, this guide offers the essential information required to better comprehend the intricacies of criminal court proceedings in Toronto.

Armed with a deeper understanding of the steps and players involved, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions and work closely with your legal team for the best possible outcome in your case.

A Comprehensive Guide to Criminal Court Proceedings in Toronto
1. Laying of Charges and Initial Arrest

The criminal court process begins when the police arrest a suspect and lay formal charges based on the Criminal Code of Canada. After the arrest, the accused is taken into custody and may be held for a bail hearing or released on bail with certain conditions. In some cases, the police may release the accused on a Promise to Appear or Undertaking before they even get to the bail hearing stage.

2. Bail Hearing

A bail hearing, also known as a judicial interim release hearing, is held within 24 hours of an arrest or as soon as possible following that timeframe. This hearing’s purpose is to determine whether the accused should remain in custody while awaiting their trial or be released on bail.

The Crown prosecutor may argue to keep the accused in custody based on flight risk, likelihood of reoffending, or the severity of the crime. If released, the accused will need to follow conditions laid out by the court and release documents. These conditions may include no-contact orders, curfews, or geographical restrictions.

3. Disclosure and Case Conferences

Following the bail hearing, the next step in the criminal court process is disclosure. The Crown prosecutor is required to provide the accused and their lawyer with a copy of all the evidence against them in their case. This disclosure may include witness statements, police reports, and expert opinions. Your defence lawyer will review this material to determine the most appropriate strategy for your case.

Case conferences, or pre-trial meetings, are held between the Crown and defence counsel to discuss and possibly resolve the case without going to trial. These informal meetings can result in an agreed resolution or identify outstanding issues to be decided at trial.

4. Preliminary Hearings

In cases involving an indictable offence, a preliminary hearing may take place to determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. This hearing is held before a judge, with the Crown prosecutor presenting evidence and calling witnesses to testify. The accused’s defence lawyer can cross-examine these witnesses and challenge the evidence presented. If the judge determines that there is sufficient evidence, a trial date will be set.

5. Choosing Trial by Judge or Jury

For those facing more serious indictable offences, the accused will have the option to choose whether their case will be tried by a judge alone or judge and jury. This decision should be made in consultation with your defence lawyer, considering the factors surrounding your case and the type of trial that may provide the most favourable outcome.

6. Pre-Trial Motions

Installed directly into a vehicle’s ignition system, an IID requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the car. The device measures the individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and only allows the vehicle to start if their BAC meets the predetermined limit, usually well below the legal level of impairment. Some devices may also require random retests while the vehicle is in motion, ensuring continuous sober driving.

7. Trial Process

During the trial, the Crown prosecutor and defence lawyer present their cases before the judge or jury. The Crown has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is accomplished by presenting evidence and calling witnesses to testify. The defence, on the other hand, will challenge the evidence and witness testimony to create reasonable doubt.

The trial process typically follows a set order, beginning with opening statements from the Crown prosecutor, followed by presentation of the Crown’s case, including witness testimony and evidence. The defence may then present their case, which may or may not include calling witnesses or providing additional evidence. Both the Crown and defence have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.

After each side presents their case, closing statements are made, summarizing the principal arguments and addressing any issues raised during the trial. In a jury trial, the judge will then instruct the jury on the relevant legal principles to be applied before they begin their deliberations.

8. Verdict and Sentencing

At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will announce a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If the accused is found not guilty, they will be acquitted, and the criminal proceedings will end. If found guilty, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled.

During the sentencing hearing, both the Crown and the defence will present their positions on the appropriate sentence for the accused. The judge will consider various factors, such as the nature and gravity of the offence, the offender’s criminal history, and personal circumstances before delivering the sentence. Sentences can range from fines and community service to probation, incarceration, or a combination of penalties.

Knowing each stage of the criminal court proceedings in Toronto can help you better understand and prepare for the legal challenges you may face. Ensure that you discuss every aspect of your case with an experienced criminal defence lawyer to make informed decisions throughout the process.

Empower Yourself with Knowledge and Legal Expertise

Understanding the criminal court proceedings in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area is essential for navigating the legal system effectively and making informed decisions at every step of the process. It’s vital to have a skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyer by your side to guide you, protect your rights, and present your case in the best possible light.

If you’re facing criminal charges in Toronto, don’t leave your future to chance. The legal professionals at Calvin Barry Professional Corporation are experienced in handling all aspects of criminal court proceedings and are dedicated to providing personalized, effective representation for your unique case. 

Schedule a consultation with our team today to discuss your case and begin planning your legal strategy for the best possible outcome.

Be open and honest with your lawyer to give them the best chance of successfully defending you. Contact Calvin Barry today if you need a DUI lawyer in Toronto or the surrounding area.

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Contact Calvin Barry Today.

Contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer in Toronto to fight for your case.

Be open and honest with your lawyer to give them the best chance of successfully defending you. Contact Calvin Barry today if you need a DUI lawyer in Toronto or the surrounding area.


Domestic Assault Lawyer Toronto

Domestic assault is a criminal charge that results from a conflict between two people in a domestic relationship. The relationship does not necessarily have to be husband and wife. It can be boyfriend and girlfriend, same-sex relationships, roommates or even siblings.

There are various paths toward the successful conclusion of a “domestic” assault case, and our team of trial lawyers has the resources and experience to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each particular case and assist you in reaching a successful outcome.

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When Experience Matters

What is a Domestic Assault?

Fighting hard for your case should be your priority when charged with domestic assault because a conviction means a mark on your life through a criminal record. 

If you end up in Family Court someday, such as in the case of a custody battle, a record for domestic assault can make things harder for you. You must set yourself for the best defence possible by hiring an experienced domestic assault lawyer like Calvin Barry.

Domestic assault

Domestic Assault Charges

Conflict is defined as any oppressive, forceful, or violent act. You can be charged with domestic assault if you:

Other grounds for charges include an act in which a victim fears their safety.

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What to Do if You’re Charged with Domestic Assault

If you are charged with domestic assault or simple assault, allegedly, you must:

Not plead guilty

Immediately consult with a criminal lawyer

Gather all evidence that supports your case

Cooperate with the police

Remain calm

Conclusion: there are various paths toward successfully concluding a “domestic” assault case. Calvin Barry and his team have successfully defended numerous cases involving domestic assault and have experience in this area of law. Our trial lawyers have the resources and expertise to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each particular case and assist you in reaching a successful outcome.

At Calvin Barry Law, We Fight for Your Rights.

Our Domestic Assault Defence

We will give the judge a comprehensive background of factors that led to the assault even when the Crown prosecutor has proven your involvement in the assault. This will allow the judge to see both sides of the case instead of just hearing just the complainant’s side, which may result in a ruling against you.

It Is Possible to Be Released on Bail

If we can prove you are not a danger to society, we will get you released on bail.

We Will Help You Find Witnesses

Part of our defence for domestic assault is gathering evidence to cast doubt if a crime was truly committed by the accused on the day in question. We will help you find witnesses and help prepare them for your defence.

Request of the Crown Prosecutor

As your legal counsel, we will protest the prosecutor’s actions to prevent the issuance of such a warrant and call upon the prosecutor for a withdrawal of charges.

Case Due to a Mental Illness

It is unfortunately common that people who suffer from mental illness also make false accusations against their partner in domestic assault cases. These false accusations are made because they often feel trapped and powerless which leads them to blame someone else for their circumstances.
If you've been falsely accused of domestic assault due to a mental illness, contact Calvin Barry today.

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Domestic Assault Charge in Canada

Defending a domestic assault charge poses different challenges compared to defending other cases. 

When introduced by the right party, some legal complexities can only be used for the defence’s advantage. It is of utmost importance to have a competent Toronto domestic assault lawyer who can present a strong defence when facing the relentless prosecutors who often handle domestic assault cases.

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Domestic Assault FAQS

Domestic assault is a type of assault that happens between individuals in a domestic relationship. Acts that are committed with the intention of causing fear via death or bodily harm between people who have a domestic relationship fall under domestic assault. The involved parties could be intimate partners or family members. This can include parents, children, dating partners, siblings, ex-spouses, and spouses.

Even when complainants want to retract their statements, a charge of domestic assault cannot be dropped in Canada. This is because a charge of domestic assault belongs to the Crown once laid by the police. What is possible is for the complainant’s input to significantly influence how the prosecutor will handle the case. There is a chance that the prosecutor may drop the case if there is no reasonable chance of conviction or if pursuing the charge is not in the public’s best interest.

Reasonable grounds are needed before the police can lay a domestic assault charge. This means that they cannot act on mere suspicion.

What does having reasonable grounds mean? It means having enough basis to believe that an offence was committed just by looking at the details of the allegation from the point of view of an unbiased, prudent person.

The police may need to rely on information such as observation of the victim’s injuries, witness statements, data from the 911 dispatch, and visible property damage to determine if reasonable grounds exist.

With a charge of domestic assault, the accused will typically be detained by the police for a night and then go to a bail hearing. The Crown can oppose the defendant’s release or consent to a release during the bail hearing based on specified conditions. If the Crown opposes a bail release, there will be a contested bail hearing before a Justice of the Peace.

There are times when the Crown can be persuaded to accept a guilty plea to a lesser offence or withdraw the charge based on available data; hence, not all domestic assault charges result in a trial.

Consulting with an experienced domestic assault defence lawyer is one of the smartest first steps when defending oneself from a charge of domestic assault, as this is a charge that cannot be dropped quickly. Building a solid defence can lead to an acquittal, a withdrawal of charges, or more lenient penalties via a plea bargain with the Crown.

Calvin Barry has over 30 years of legal knowledge and experience to help you defend yourself from a domestic assault charge. Call Calvin Barry Law at 1-866-961-4963 for a consultation at your earliest convenience.

Domestic assault cases that result in a trial are usually complex and challenging. As a defendant, you should know that you will face limitations even when you can represent yourself in court. A defendant is not allowed to cross-examine the complainant and will need an appointed lawyer to do so. Court-appointed lawyers will not help you in other aspects of defence. They do not have to conduct the cross-examination in a manner that you want, as their sole responsibility is to cross-examine the complainant in any way they deem fit.

Note that domestic assault trials usually involve the Crown submitting prior alleged incidents of abuse as part of the evidence to form a background narrative. This narrative evidence is often highly prejudicial to the defendant as this is not proof of the alleged offence but only a way to create a narrative that fits the alleged offence. An experienced domestic assault lawyer will know how to counter these prosecution tactics with a good defence focusing on what happened and not what allegedly happened in related incidences.

The topic of children is usually discussed in court as the bail is being set. The court will usually set restricted circumstances where the accused can see their children. This often involves the help of a third party to facilitate the arrangements.

The penalties for domestic assault vary depending on the severity of the offence. 

For those who plead guilty or were found guilty after the trial, the penalty for a charge of domestic assault can be as lenient as a discharge to as severe as a lengthy jail sentence. 

Ancillary orders such as firearms prohibition or DNA orders can be expected.

Once convicted of domestic assault, the charges will remain on the accused’s criminal record. Suppose you’ve been convicted of domestic assault. In that case, the mark on your permanent record can have life-long effects on your living arrangements, ability to gain employment, maintain future relationships, and freedom to travel. It is best to avoid a conviction as best as you can with the assistance of an experienced criminal defence lawyer.

Calvin Barry Law is at your service. Hiring a seasoned domestic assault lawyer is your best defence to avoid life-long negative effects and combat false allegations. Contact Calvin Barry if you are looking for a domestic assault lawyer in Toronto and nearby areas.

The consequences of a sexual assault charge can affect the accused’s reputation for life. An arrest may result in losing one’s job, being placed in restrictive bail conditions, and receiving unwanted attention and publicity. A guilty plea or a conviction will result in 18-24 months imprisonment for a summary conviction or as much as ten years imprisonment for an indictment. A conviction or a guilty plea will also lead to registration in the provincial sex offender registry, the national sex offender registry, and the national DNA Data Bank.

A lawyer can provide legal representation, negotiate on your behalf, and work towards the best possible outcome. To understand how a lawyer can assist in your particular case, please contact us to receive expert legal advice.

The fees charged by domestic assault lawyers depend on the complexity of your charge and other factors regarding the case. At Calvin Barry Law, we offer decades of legal expertise and knowledge to defend you in court. Contact us to discuss our fees and what we can do to assist you.

Domestic assault involves violence or threats of violence against someone in your household or family. Each case is unique, so for a detailed understanding of how your situation fits within the legal definition, please contact us for personalized advice.

It’s crucial to seek legal advice promptly. Avoid discussing the incident with anyone but your lawyer to protect your rights. For immediate guidance, fill out our form and one of our legal professionals will contact you.

The duration varies based on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. For a more accurate timeline based on your circumstances, get in touch with us right away and we’ll provide you with tailored information.

This depends on court orders and the conditions of your bail. To understand your rights and options regarding child visitation. Let’s discuss how we can support you.

Preparing for court is critical. You’ll need to understand the charges, the potential defenses, and how to present your case. For comprehensive preparation, schedule a free consultation with our legal team.

domestic assault

Grounds for Assault

Physically hurting someone on purpose.

Damaging property.

Threatening to harass or stalk someone.

Intimidating someone.

Domestic assault is any physical, verbal, or emotional abuse used to gain control or power over another person. This can include physical violence, verbal threats, or psychological manipulation. Relationships can include, but not be limited to

If someone is found guilty of this behaviour, they may face criminal charges. Furthermore, a person can be accused of a crime if they do something that causes others to fear for their safety.

It is essential to put up a strong defence if you are accused of domestic violence, as a conviction can have a lasting impact, leaving you with a criminal record.

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Get Defended with Calvin Barry’s Professional Team

Calvin Barry and his team have a great deal of experience and knowledge in defending cases involving domestic assault. They have the necessary resources and skills to evaluate the merits and weaknesses of your case and help you reach a favourable outcome.

Defending oneself in a domestic assault case involves different challenges than in other cases. With the help of an experienced Toronto domestic assault lawyer, certain legal complexities can be utilized in the defendant’s favour. Having a knowledgeable attorney is critical, as prosecutors tend to be particularly uncompromising regarding domestic assault cases.

We will provide the judge with information about the situation leading up to the assault to give a broader perspective. This will give the judge a more balanced view of the case, which could lead to a more favourable outcome for you.

If we can show that you are not a threat to the public, we can arrange for you to be released from custody on bail.

Our goal is to help clients build a case to prove that the accused committed no crime on the day in question. We will collect evidence such as witness statements, photos and other relevant information to present in court. We will also assist you in preparing witnesses to testify in your defence.


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