Criminal Law Basics

Crown Counsel has the Burden of Proof

In Criminal law, the state (the police and Crown) have the legal burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. This basic "golden thread" weaves its way through the criminal justice system from beginning to end. Effectively, what this means is that the defence is not obliged to prove anything. It is not for the accused to prove his innocence; it is for the Crown to prove his guilt. Having said this, the police and the Crown Counsel are well funded organizations, staffed by highly trained investigators and prosecutors. They understand what evidence is necessary to gain a conviction and they are skilled in obtaining it.

Criminal Defence Strategies

The lawyers at Mines & Company are experienced at developing various strategies to defend criminal charges. From steering clients through police investigations by protecting their right to silence, to vigorously defending clients in court by seeking to have unlawfully obtained evidence excluded, to skilfully cross examining police, expert and lay witnesses during trial, our lawyers will develop various strategies to eliminate or reduce the impact of the charges our clients are facing.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

At Mines & Company, we understand that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms governs all prosecutions under the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and all other federal and provincial statutes. Every case we defend is viewed through the Charter. Our goal is to ensure that our clients have been treated fairly by the police, the Crown, and the courts. We endeavour to ensure that all evidence obtained pursuant to a Charter breach is excluded from the trial. Specific Charter interests include:

  • the right to remain silent;
  • the right to be free from unreasonable search;
  • the right to be free from arbitrary detention;
  • the right to be advised of the reason for arrest or detention ;
  • the right to counsel;
  • the right to a speedy trial; and
  • the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.