When police investigate a crime, they work diligently to examine all the evidence, interview witnesses, and identify a suspect. Once the police finish their criminal investigation, it is their responsibility to lay charges if the evidence and facts support the charges. The accused is formally charged and eventually provided with information explaining exactly what offence they are alleged to have committed. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence, it is vital that you have a skilled Ontario criminal defence lawyer at your side who can help you at this crucial early stage of your case.Crown Disclosure Package
Once charges are brought, the Crown assembles what is referred to as a “disclosure package.” The disclosure package is supposed to contain all relevant facts and information gathered by the police during the course of their investigation. Some common parts of a disclosure package include:
- All witness statements;
- The Crown Brief Report;
- Police interviews;
- Police notes;
- Information sheet;
- Any forensic testing results;
- Any cellular telephone analysis;
- Crime scene photographs.
All Relevant Information to Be Provided to the Defence
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, the Crown must provide you or your criminal defence lawyer with a copy of the Crown disclosure materials. Under the law, the materials regarding the investigation which are in the possession of the Crown are not the property of the Crown for the use in securing a conviction, but, rather, are the property of the public to ensure that justice is done. All relevant information must be disclosed, whether or not the Crown intends to introduce it in evidence. The Crown must disclose relevant information, including exculpatory facts and information which may assist the accused. If the information is of no use, then it is irrelevant and will be excluded by Crown counsel in the exercise of the Crown’s discretion, which is reviewable by the trial judge. There might be restrictions on the distribution of the disclosure depending on the nature of the charges.
How a Criminal Defence Lawyer Helps
An important part of the criminal defence lawyer’s role is ensuring that the Crown has fully disclosed all information pertaining to the criminal investigation. An experienced criminal defence lawyer may be able to identify information missing from the Crown disclosure. Once all material is obtained, an experienced criminal defence lawyer will review the disclosure materials to determine how the information can be used to best defend against the criminal charges. Without a defence lawyer’s assistance at this phase of your case, you may lose the ability to obtain and use information that may be highly beneficial to your cause.
Since 1996, the law firm of Mitch Engel, Barrister & Solicitor has been providing clients throughout the Toronto, Oshawa, Brampton, and Mississauga areas with top-level criminal defence representation. With an exclusive focus on criminal defence, he has keen insight into successful defence strategies and is passionate about helping his clients achieve the best possible resolution to their matters. Call Mitch Engel at (866) 761-7077 to get the legal advice you need to reclaim your life.
The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only. These materials constitute general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm lawyers. They do NOT constitute legal advice or other professional advice and you may not rely on the contents of this website as such.