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It is unusual for witnesses to be called to give evidence at an appeal hearing. It is the Crown's responsibility to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. What is meant by 'guilt beyond a reasonable doubt'?
Reasonable doubt refers to the level of proof that the judge or jury needs in order to find a person guilty.
Sometimes the accused will be released on an undertaking or recognizance with conditions about staying in a particular area, having no contact with the victim or others, or not using alcohol or firearms.
If the accused breaks any of the conditions, they can be charged with a breach and may be taken into custody. Can charges laid by the police be dropped or changed? This may happen for a number of reasons but is usually because the Crown attorney determines that there is not enough evidence for the accused to be convicted (found guilty) of the charge. The number of steps in the process depends on the seriousness of the crime and whether the accused person pleads guilty or not guilty.
Once a criminal charge is laid at the court by the police, the person who is accused of the crime is referred to as the accused or the defendant.
When a crime is reported to the police, they do an investigation to determine if there is enough evidence to be able to charge any person with the offence.
The sentence is intended to discourage the offender and others from committing crimes and to rehabilitate or reform the offender.
The judge or jury may take hours, days, or much longer to reach a verdict (decision of guilt or innocence).
Sentencing hearing - The judge determines an appropriate sentence for the offender (accused who has been determined guilty).
The Crown attorney may also reduce the charge by accepting a guilty plea by the accused to a less serious charge rather than proceeding with a trial on the more serious charge. The entire process may be completed in a number of days if the accused pleads guilty, or it can take several months, or even years.
There are often lengthy periods between each court hearing.Read up on our latest news, including our event at the Dead Sea which brought together over 100 women for a day of relaxation, reflection and inspiration!