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.


Firearm and Weapons Charges Toronto

In Canada, there are strict laws against the possession and transportation of firearms. If an offence is committed the person can be punished on summary conviction, or imprisonment for up to two or five years, depending on the offence.

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Firearm and Weapons

If you are convicted of a firearms or weapons offence our firm will provide you with all of the resources needed to analyze your case. With Calvin Barry and his team of trial lawyers, we will be able to defend you regardless of the severity of the alleged firearms and weapons charge you are facing.


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The following is a list of potential offences:

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Firearms Charges and Canadian Gun Laws

We defend those charged with firearms or weapons offences. With decades of experience defending high-profile clients, our law firm has seen it all.

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If you are facing firearms or weapons charge - we can help! With an entire team of lawyers on call 24/7 our services extend far beyond just one attorney or law firm - we are here to protect your rights.

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Having a lawyer at your trial isn't just about having someone who can provide commentary on the law or question witnesses - our lawyers can make it much easier for you to present your defence in front of a judge and jury.

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Even if you are facing charges from a summary conviction offence or a criminal offence - it is possible to avoid jail time or any other severe penalties like fines.


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If you’ve been charged with a firearms or weapons offence, it’s important to hire a law firm specializing in criminal defence. We’ll be able to represent you regardless of the severity of the charge – call us today!

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In Canada, owning and carrying firearms is not allowed, and those who break the law can face serious consequences. Depending on the offence, a person may be subject to a fine or even a prison sentence of up to five years.

Firearms and weapons offences are very serious and can lead to severe punishments. Depending on the offence, the court may impose a mandatory minimum sentence that must be given, and if the person has committed the same offence more than once, the sentence can be even harsher.

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Call Calvin Barry the Moment You Are Charged

Our firm will provide you with the necessary resources to examine any firearms or weapons charges you may face. Our team of experienced trial lawyers, led by Calvin Barry, will fight for your rights and give you the best possible defence no matter how serious the charge is.

Calvin Barry is experienced in defending clients accused of firearms-related crimes. He can help with cases involving possessing an unauthorized firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, and unlawful firearm discharge. He also has experience defending against charges involving knives, clubs, and other weapons.

Our goal is to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients when they face firearms or weapons charges. We recognize that these types of charges often come with more serious consequences. That said, we strive to secure an acquittal for our clients, allowing them to avoid the more severe penalties associated with a conviction.

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How His Team Gets It Done

First, Calvin and his team offer a complimentary assessment of your situation to provide you with the best possible advice. If you continue with our services, they can provide you with the legal assistance you need if you have been charged with firearms or weapons-related offences 24/7! Our team of experienced attorneys can provide you with the knowledgeable advice needed to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your case. 

They will work around the clock to ensure you have the representation and guidance you need during this difficult time. Having a lawyer present at your trial is a great way to help make the legal process go more smoothly. They will be able to provide advice on the law and can help you craft a strong defence. They can also ask witnesses questions, helping you make your case more effective. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and make sure that you are presenting your case in the best way possible.

No matter what type of offence you are accused of—whether a summary conviction or a criminal offence—it is possible to avoid jail time or significant punishment such as fines. If you have been charged with a weapons-related offence, you must ensure you have the right representation to protect your rights!

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10 FAQs about Firearm and Weapons Charges

Immediate action is crucial. Contact a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in firearm and weapons charges to discuss your case and legal options. Request a free consultation to ensure your rights are protected from the start.

Consequences can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense. It’s essential to understand the implications, which a lawyer can explain in detail. Speak with a lawyer now to learn about the potential impact on your life.

There may be defenses available that could lead to charges being dropped or reduced. An experienced lawyer can assess your case for such possibilities. Schedule a case review to explore your options.

A lawyer can navigate the legal system, advocate on your behalf, and work towards the best possible outcome. They can also handle negotiations and, if necessary, represent you at trial. Consult with our team for expert legal assistance.

Defenses vary based on the specifics of your case, including challenging the evidence, proving lawful possession, or demonstrating constitutional violations. Discuss your defense strategy with a lawyer who can advise on the best approach.

Canadian law differentiates between various offenses based on factors like the type of weapon, intent, and circumstances of possession or use. Understand the legal classifications by talking to a legal expert.

Skilled representation is vital to ensure your case is presented effectively and your rights are upheld. A lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome. Learn how we can represent you in court.

Certain offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences, making it even more important to have a strong defense. Get legal advice on how this may apply to your case.

Preparation involves gathering evidence, understanding legal arguments, and strategizing with your lawyer. Start preparing your defense with a professional legal team.

Reaching out is simple. You can call or fill out an online form to get started with your defense. Contact us immediately to take the first step towards your legal defense.


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