A trial comes at the end of a long criminal justice process. On television, the action skips right there. But in practice, it takes a long time. Many cases resolve without heading to trial at all, and in fact the system is designed to encourage this. But sometimes a trial is unavoidable – particularly when you’re innocent. When an accused person is guilty, they may want to take a deal offered by the Crown. But when you’re not guilty, you can’t accept the idea of pleading guilty, and no lawyer should let you.
I run trials. Some lawyers prefer to avoid them, but going to trial is a part of every good lawyer’s toolkit. When you are willing to go to trial, you can force the Crown to seriously consider their case and either withdraw bad charges or else come up with a genuinely good deal if a deal is what you’re looking for. If you’re not willing to go to trial, the Crown will walk all over you because they know you’re at their mercy.
If you’re at the start of this process, you should know it may be a long road. But you want a lawyer who is always looking down the road and is willing to take your case to trial if that’s the best plan. And if you have a trial coming up, you want a lawyer who isn’t afraid of the courtroom, and is willing to put the Crown to their full onus. Remember. You don’t have to prove you’re innocent – they have to prove you’re guilty. And sometimes all it takes is the willingness to hang in there until they admit they can’t do it.