Are you a victim or a third-party witness who wants to convict someone based on their wrongdoings? Don’t know how much evidence is needed to charge someone in Canada?
Or are you a suspect in a crime and looking for the answer to a similar question? Well, in both cases, the answer is the same!
Many people may think that to charge someone; you need solid proof like DNA, fingertips, video recordings, etc. But as per Criminal Law in Canada, you only need an Eyewitness from the alleged victim or a third party to charge someone in Canada.
Keep reading the blog to find all the important facts relevant to the topic.
Can You Be Convicted without Evidence in Canada?
Of course, you can be convicted without any sort of evidence. The Canadian Criminal court system considers any testimonies from third parties and potential victims as evidence.
You may find several persons guilty of crimes such as assault of any kind, sexual assault, making death threats, etc., depending solely on the testimony or written statement of one witness.
However, the party must have to prove and show evidence in court. We recommend you consult a moose jaw criminal lawyer in a complex situation like this.
Can Someone Press a Charge Against Me without Evidence?
Yes, in Canada, for the accused to be found guilty and sentenced to prison, the Crown Lawyer only requires a witness to confirm that an assault, rape, security risk, destruction, or any other kind of crime has occurred.
Such as, in most states, like Ontario, eyewitness or direct evidence testimony is given the utmost importance as the only evidence used in most hearings. Someone who claims to have seen you commit a crime is enough to be strong proof.
It is frequently the victim who gives the statement. However, it could also be a different person giving the testimony. In other words, an eye witness—victim or not—is typically regarded as very solid proof in the criminal court system of Canada.
But, the final decision always depends on the judge to determine how credible a witness’s testimony is. Just because an eyewitness claims that someone did anything wrong to them or an individual has committed an offence against another person doesn’t imply that their claims are 100% accurate.
And in case the matter goes to the court, the judge or jury will give their verdict (whether the offender is innocent or guilty) at the very last of the session by considering the below-mentioned things:
- Listening carefully to what the victim or any other witnesses have anything to say
- Do they (the victim) have evidence to prove their ground?
- The offender’s statement if s/he wants to take the stand.
- What evidence does police need to charge someone?
What Evidence Does Police Need to Charge Someone in Canada?
Here is a list of the most common types of evidence that police need to charge someone in Canada:
- CCTV video footages
- Recorded conversations or threats
- Fingertips and other forensics.
However, surprisingly, in several criminal cases in Canada, the police don’t require to provide any sort of evidence, as previously mentioned, to charge the offender. Instead, all they have to go on to charge someone is one eyewitness’s word or testimony—the claimed victim.
Meaning the only form of proof the police require to file charges and find the suspect guilty in court is witness testimony. It mostly happens in cases like assault, sexual assault, life-threatening remarks, damages, etc., where a witness’s testimony is given the utmost priority, who can be the actual victim or any other party witnessing the act.
Can Someone Falsely Accuse Me of a Crime Resulting in Me Going to Prison?
If the judge or jury finds you guilty of the crime, you can end up in prison. In most states, criminal offences that proceed to trial solely involve eyewitness or alleged victim statements.
Such cases frequently feature what is known as a “he said/she said” allegation and are mostly domestic.
Among these are same-sex relationships, including homosexual and lesbian, sometimes referred to as “he said/he said” or “she said/she said.” It doesn’t matter what the parties involved’s sexual preferences are.
So, how to proceed with such cases? The Crown Lawyer and the courts will view all of these criminal accusations as domestic and afterwards treat them accordingly. Domestic cases are always taken very seriously and dealt with by special prosecuting lawyers only in special courts.
Here, the statement of one of the persons involved is typically considered the only evidence in domestic abuse trials to give the verdict in case there is no other evidence, and the offender also can’t prove their innocence.
You may like to read: What is the Maximum Penalty for Forgery in Canada?
Am I Considered Innocent Until Proven Guilty?
Of course, you are considered innocent until proven guilty of the charges brought up against you in court.
It is quite a normal scenario for someone to hold accountable for charges they didn’t commit. But merely based on suspicion, you will not be considered guilty even if the police visit your house, take you to prison for questioning, or even put you on trial.
Unless the prosecution can establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the hearing, a judge or jury will consider you innocent, even if you are accused of the crime and have to go through with a lawsuit.
In such cases, your job is to cast doubt on the proof the judge or jury has given against you. And come up with solid proof that you have not committed the crime. Prove that someone else behind this crime has put the burden of their crime on your head.
How to Defend Yourself When You are Completely Innocent?
Since the prosecution is always the first person to speak, the first opportunity to present your defence will be to cross-examine their eyewitnesses’ testimonies. Prove that everything coming from their mouth is all made up or invalid. This is where your lawyer can come in handy!
Here’s to how:
- No-evidence motion: It refers to the condition where the other party’s lawyer has no evidence on an element to prove anything against you. As a result, your lawyer can ask the judge to dismiss the charges.
- Insufficient evidence: You aren’t required to submit your defence. Instead, the judge will give their verdict, clearing your name of the charge if they find a lack of evidence to prove you have committed the offence.
- Call your eyewitnesses (if any): If you decide to submit your case in court, bring your eyewitnesses one at a time and ask them to give your version of the story. After that, the prosecution will question each witness in turn.
- Testify yourself: You can even give a testimony in front of the judge describing what actually happened. But in that case, be ready to face the judge and the other party’s lawyer’s counter questions as they may come up with several questions, hurting your self-esteem. So, stay calm and let your lawyer take care of the case because a wrong word can cost the entire case.
That’s all from the detailed discussion regarding “how much evidence is needed to charge someone in Canada?”
Therefore, if you or any loved members face similar cases, the smartest move is to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. From doing all sorts of legal paperwork to giving you the right guidance and fighting for you in court, a lawyer will always help you, taking the burden off your shoulders.