After the initial charges are laid against the accused the trial should take place: After Preliminary inquiry: within six months to one year

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1 The Court Process: Time Frames and Expected Proceedings After the initial charges are laid against the accused the trial should take place: After Preliminary inquiry: within six months to one year If no preliminary inquiry: within three to six months Unfortunately delays are often lengthy and cases may drag on for longer than this. Expected Proceedings 1. Jury election (if there is a jury) 2. Pre-trial motions (a hearing on a motion before trial to discuss allowable evidence) 3. The Crown s opening statement to the court 4. Examination-in-chief: the Crown calls its witnesses to testify 5. Cross-examination: the Crown witnesses are questioned by the defence 6. Re-examination: the Crown may re-question its witnesses 7. The defence calls its witnesses (if any) 8. The Crown cross-examines them 9. The defence may re-examine 10.Each side gives its closing remarks 11.The judge charges the jury (if there is one) to come to a verdict 12.The jury or judge alone delivers the verdict The following will look at each stage of the proceedings and review the: (a) Definition (b) Does the Survivor have to attend? (c) Will the survivor have to testify? (d) Other notes on Survivor involvement. 1

2 Criminal Justice Proceeding Definition Does the Survivor have to attend? Will the survivor have to testify? Survivors involvement: other. The Arrest/Charging of the Accused First court appearance of the accused Bail Hearing Once enough evidence is gained to arrest the accused, the police will lay charges. This occurs shortly after the initial arrest of the accused. This determines whether the accused should be kept in jail until the next court hearing. This hearing determines if the accused should deposit money to the court as a guarantee that the accused will appear for the next court date. The amount is determined by the courts. This occurs only if the accused is: Unlikely to show up for trial If the court finds it necessary to set conditions on their freedom. No. No. The evidence used to arrest an accused person will be based on the survivors previous statements and collection of evident. N/A No. No. If the accused has threatened you or you are concerns the accused may try to hurt you, contact the police and Crown. VWAP referral often happens here. No. No. No. (See previous statement) 2

3 Criminal Justice Proceeding Pre-trial Conference Definition This is an agreement that the accused will plead guilty to the crime. If the accused decides to plead guilty to some or all of the charges a negotiation between the Crown Attorney and the Defence counsel is set. Does the Survivor have to attend? No. Public Cannot Attend Will the survivor have to testify? No. Survivor s involvement: other. The survivor can find out about the plea bargaining by talking to VWAP In exchange for the guilty plea the Crown may agree to: Withdraw some of the charges Reduce the charge to a lesser offence Ask the court for a lighter sentence Set Date Court Preliminary Inquiry This is a court date to determine future court dates. The Crown presents the evidence available to support the charges. This offers the defense counsel an opportunity to hear some details of the case against the accused. No. No. The Victim Witness Assistance Program should keep you updated about the setting of court dates. Yes. Yes, most likely. 3

4 No Preliminary Inquiry Jury Selection (if applicable) Pre-trial motions (if applicable) If there is not enough evidence the charges may be dropped. Preliminary inquiries occur only with indictable offences. If the accused pleads guilty or they waive the Preliminary Inquiry the case goes straight to trial. If the defence counsel chooses not to hear the evidence the case could go directly to trial. If the charge is a summary indictment there is no preliminary inquiry. A process in which a group of 12 people (who are to represent society) are chosen by the Crown and Defense attorney. A hearing on a motion before trial to discuss allowable evidence. N/A N/A N/A No. No. No. No. No. Will be informed of the progress. 4

5 Beginning of Trial Crown s opening statements Examination in Chief Crown s witnesses are called. The Crown Attorney makes an opening statement to the judge/jury. The Crown calls witnesses to testify. No. No. Yes. The survivor can not hear the testimony of other witnesses until after she has testified. They are not allowed in the courtroom or to discuss evidence until after their testimony Yes. Based on the subpoena the survivor will know when/if they are to testify. The survivor will have to testify when called upon. VWAP will inform you of the progress and have done a court orientation beforehand. You have the right to have discussed the process of testifying with the Crown prior to this trial date. Cross-examination Re-examination Defence calls its witnesses The Crown witnesses are questioned by the defence counsel. The Crown may requestion its witnesses after the cross examination The Defence calls its witnesses to testify. Yes. Yes. The Crown is not permitted to communicate with the witness while under cross-examination Yes. Yes, if applicable. The survivor can now choose to sit in the courtroom after having completed her testimony. She must still abide by all the rules and guidelines of court behaviour. 5

6 Criminal Justice Proceeding Crown Cross Examination Definition Crown cross-examines the witnesses of the defence. Does the Survivor Will the survivor have have to attend? to testify? Survivor s involvement: other. Defence Reexamination Crown and Defence Closing Remarks. Verdict delivery The Defence may reexamine their witnesses This is a summary of arguments and closing statement of both sides based on the evidence and court proceedings. The Judge or Jury delivers a verdict on the case based on the evidence. Sentencing Hearing A guilty charge is found when the evidence shows that the accused is guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is when the judge decides upon the appropriate punishment for the accused. There is usually a delay between the verdict and the sentencing. The survivor will have the option to submit a Victim Impact Statement. Previous charges against the accused will be taken into account at this point. VWAP should notify you of the sentencing dates. 6

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