Despite seeing news relating to criminal law on a daily basis, most people who have never been charged have no idea how the court system works. The whole process can be overwhelming, but it helps to know what steps are involved. I find myself routinely sketching out this diagram with clients, so I decided I should share it here.
This month saw a big variety of interesting cases on the criminal law front, from policing to jails to sentencing.
This week I found myself sitting across from a client at the cellblock in the courthouse, preparing for a guilty plea. He is Inuit, having lived in Ottawa for over a decade. He has long criminal record, mostly made up of petty thefts and breaches of probation. He has struggled with alcohol for most of his life. Sadly, his story his not uncommon.