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Criminal law is complex

There are several steps that each criminal law matter will evolve through. At each step, important decisions with important ramifications are made. Rules of evidence and procedure guide each phase. The best approach to effectively wade through the criminal law system is to have a lawyer act on your behalf. Call Susan Karpa or fill out the secure contact form to discuss your criminal or drug related charges.

The following is a brief overview of some of the stages of the criminal law process.

What you need to know

  • Should You Talk to the Police?

    One of the most common questions people ask me is “what do I say to the police when they speak to me?” Thankfully in Canada, you have the right to remain silent.

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  • Bail

    In some instances, the police have the authority to release you on bail. They may decide, however, to seek to have you detained in jail. If that happens, it is important to contact a lawyer to discuss your options and to give you advice on what the best course of action is for you.

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  • Docket Court Appearances

    Whether you have been detained or are released, one of the first steps in the court process is your required attendance at docket courts or Case Management Offices where applicable. Several key decisions relating to your file are made during those appearances. Some of those decisions will be made at your very first court appearance.

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  • Disclosure

    Disclosure is the evidence that that the prosecution has against you. It is a package of evidence which can include documents, witness statements, and videos. It contains copies of the evidence that the police have compiled in your case. Disclosure is the basis for the prosecution’s case against you.

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  • Trials

    In some instances, you will have the right to choose whether your trial is heard in Provincial Court, or the Court of Queen’s Bench. Similarly, in some instances you will have the right to choose if you want to have what is called a “preliminary inquiry”. You may also have the choice of whether you wish to have a trial with a jury or simply with a judge alone at the Court of Queen’s Bench.

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