Crown Disclosure Definition
Crown Disclosure refers to all materials the Crown will use against the accused in criminal proceedings, and usually consists of a package which includes several paper documents. Among the documents, individuals may find: police officers’ notes, witness statements, a copy of their CPIC (criminal record), and a screening form. A screening form is a form the Crown completes, which briefly details the charges against the accused, and the punishment the Crown will seek.
Disclosure is not limited to paper copies of evidence, and can come in video, audio, or photograph form.
Why is getting disclosure important?
Receiving all disclosure related to an ongoing criminal matter is important for a variety of reasons. A person can best face the charges against them if they can access all the information the Crown will be using to prosecute them. Furthermore, it is an individual’s constitutional right to receive their disclosure. It is therefore the Crown’s duty to provide the disclosure.
A Lawyer’s Role
A lawyer has several roles related to disclosure.
Crown disclosure often comes in stages over the course of a few weeks. It is not always complete or ready to be distributed to the accused by the time the accused’s first court appearance is scheduled. If an individual retains a lawyer, the lawyer will review the disclosure to see if there is missing information, and based on his or her findings, request that the Crown provide what is missing.
The lawyer will also review the Crown disclosure to understand the case against the accused. Lawyers examine the disclosure to determine whether the process of obtaining evidence was fair to the accused, and that the accused’s rights were respected throughout any investigation. Finally, and most importantly, lawyers review the disclosure with the accused individual, to ensure that the individual knows about all aspects of the case against them, and that all of the individual’s questions are answered.
Smordin Law Criminal Lawyers
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