Criminal Defence: Preparing for a Criminal Trial

Although a majority of criminal cases end up in plea agreements negotiated by a criminal lawyer on behalf of a client, some cases do end up being tried. When it comes to criminal defence, a primary decision in the proceedings involves the decision to settle or a try a case.

If a criminal case is to be tried, a defendant needs to properly prepare for the courtroom proceedings. A criminal lawyer will devote a considerable amount of time working with a client to ensure t hat he or she is prepared for trial proceedings.

The Decision to Testify

A major decision faced by a criminal lawyer and a client is whether or not the defendant in a criminal case should testify on his or her own behalf. A defendant in a criminal case has an absolute right to testify at his or her trial. The decision is the defendant’s alone and cannot be made on his or her behalf by a lawyer of anyone else.

With that understood, a defendant must take heed to a criminal lawyer’s advice when it comes to the issue of testifying during a trial. An experienced attorney is well aware of the pros and cons of a criminal defendant taking the stand in a trial.

In courts in Commonwealth nations, including Canada, nothing negative can be inferred against a defendant that choses not to testify in a criminal trial. This stems from a tradition that ultimately took root in justice systems in the majority of Western nations, including those that trace their history to the British Empire.

In the final analysis, a criminal lawyer may advise a client not to testify at trial. Oftentimes, the primary reason for the recommendation is the fact that if a defendant testifies, he or she is subject to thorough cross examination by the prosecutor. Oftentimes, cross examination of a defendant can have devastating consequences to a case, even to a case that previously was believed to be strongly favorable to the defendant.

Preparing to Testify

If the decision is made for a defendant to testify, he or she needs to engage in significant preparation with legal counsel. This process likely includes a defendant actually submitting to a mock cross examination. If a criminal case goes of the rails, it oftentimes is during the course of the cross examination of the defendant.

A Defendant is a Full Participant

A criminal defendant must be mindful during all aspects of a criminal trial. He or she must remain focused and able to provide counsel with information as needed. He or she must be able to provide information based on observations of other witnesses during trial proceedings.

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Overview of Impaired Driving Laws in Canada

Impaired driving is the technical, legal term in Canada utilized to describe the crime of a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Obtaining a DUI lawyer is recommended when a person is charged with this type of crime in Canada.

Refusing to Submit to Field Sobriety Testing

If a person refuses to submit to field sobriety testing, or testing to determine blood alcohol concentration, that individual can be criminally prosecuted. Indeed, in convicted, a person who refuses in this manner faces the prospect of having the same penalties imposed if he or she was convicted of driving while impaired.

A DUI lawyer can sometimes make a case that a person had a reasonable justification for refusing to comply with the testing requests made by a law enforcement officer. Prevailing in this manner is very challenging and truly does require the skilled assistances of an experienced DUI lawyer.

Presumption of Accuracy

Although a DUI lawyer can attempt to make a defense that the blood level testing equipment was not functioning properly, the presumption is that this equipment did provide accurate results. An attorney can provide evidence to suggest that the equipment did not function correctly. The court will weigh evidence provided by legal counsel on behalf of a defendant to determine whether it is enough to overcome the presumption that the testing equipment provided accurate results.

Sentences in Impaired Driving Cases

When convicted of impaired driving, a motorist faces a country-wide prohibition on driving for a set period of time. A first-time conviction results in a 12-month driving prohibition, a second conviction results in a 24-month prohibition, and 36 months is imposed for a third-time conviction of impaired driving.

A first offence calls for a fine of up to $1,000. There is not mandatory jail time.

A second offence results in a possible fine and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days. A third conviction results in a possible fine and a minimum jail sentence of 120 days.

Interlock Device

Canadian law also calls for the use of an interlock device in certain cases. An interlock device requires a person to breath into a device and demonstrate that he or she is free of alcohol before the vehicle can be started. With an interlock device installed in a person’s automobile, he or she can shorten the driving prohibition period, at least to some degree.

In the case of a 12-month prohibition, the interlock device can be installed after three months. It can be installed after six months in the case of a 24-month prohibition and after one year in the case of a 36-month prohibition.

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How Statutes of Limitation Can Influence Your Personal Injury Case

If you have suffered a head injury in a car crash or gotten sick from eating tainted food, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, it may be possible to hold whoever hurt you financially responsible for his or her negligence. However, this may only happen if you file your case before the statute of limitations expires.

What’s a Statue of Limitation?

In a personal injury case, you may be given a limited amount of time in which you can file your lawsuit. In some jurisdictions, you may have one year or less to take legal action. Depending on the circumstances in the case, you may be given a year or more from the point in which you determined that a particular event resulted in injuries or illness.

What Happens If You File Your Case After the Statue of Limitations Expires?

It can be extremely difficult to get a judge to hear your case if you waited too long to file. This is why many legal experts suggest that you contact an attorney and file your case as soon as possible. In addition to weakening your standing to sue, waiting to take action may be used against you in court or during settlement talks.

What Happens If Your Case Is Still Ongoing After the Statute of Limitations Expires?

It is important to note that you only have to file the lawsuit by the time any applicable statute of limitations expires. However, you should understand that your case may take many months or years to resolve. Therefore, you may want to make plans with creditors, medical professionals and your attorney to delay any payments until after your case has been resolved in your favor.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

Your attorney will review your case and determine the best way to proceed based on the available facts and information that you provide. Since your legal counsel will know and understand personal injury law, he or she will know how long you have to take legal action and how long it may take to file the appropriate paperwork. Therefore, you will most likely have taken legal action against the party that hurt you long before you run out of time to do so.

It is critical that you talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as you have been hurt or have fallen ill. He or she may be able to review your case to determine the likelihood that negligence played a role in your injury or illness. If the answer is most likely yes, your attorney will then work as hard as possible to win compensation in a timely manner.

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