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When a person is arrested for a deed where fundamental rights are involved, the individual concerned may face criminal charges.

This launches a criminal prosecution that comprises all steps of a case presented to the court. One of these steps is the court appearance. What does it consist of? What is its relevance?

In this article, discover all you need to know about a court appearance.

What is a court appearance?

In the criminal prosecution process, once the police intervention and the prosecutor’s assessment have taken place, the individual will promptly be brought before a judge. At this appearance, he is informed of the charge against him. During this step, the prosecutor submits the evidence against the accused to the defence lawyer. In law, this is what is known as disclosure of evidence. In order for the accused to defend himself as best he can, it is important to have all the evidence against him disclosed in advance.

At this stage, the individual has three options when facing the judge:

  1. Plead guilty and receive his sentence immediately.
  2. Plead not guilty, in which case the judge must set a specific date for the trial.
  3. Ask for the prosecution’s evidence and request his plea be postponed to a later date.

Do court appearances differ between the provincial and federal governments?

In Canada, the federal government, in the field of law, exercises its power throughout the country and must ensure that equity is upheld in all provinces in terms of health, education and well-being. The federal government cannot in any way transfer its powers to the provinces and can only delegate the administration for certain responsibilities, such as traffic regulations for example.

As for the provinces, each of them has its own legislature and exercises its legal responsibilities.

There are no differences in court appearances between the provincial and federal governments. It remains an important and mandatory step in a criminal prosecution, which generally proceeds in the same manner. However, it is important to know that the laws are not all the same in different Canadian provinces. As such, the penalties may differ from one province to another.

This is the case if, for example, you are arrested for impaired driving. In this instance, your sentence will be given according to the laws governing the province in which you will be prosecuted.

Who can you turn to when you have legal troubles?

If you are facing charges or set to be under investigation, it is important to defend yourself with the help of a lawyer. Do not hesitate to request a free consultation today by contacting the DUI Montreal Lawyer law firm.