glossary

Glossary

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If you are accused of a crime you are entitled to be considered innocent until the Crown has proven you to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the burden is on the Crown to prove you committed the crime, you do not have to prove you are innocent.

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The law says that the parent who’s “primarily responsible” is the one who takes care of their child on a daily basis. If both parents do this, it’s the parent who spends more time taking care of the child’s needs.

In a family with a female and male parent, the law considers the female parent to be primarily responsible. Same-sex parents or fathers who apply for the Canada child benefit may need a letter from the child’s other parent saying that they’re primarily responsible.

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A “primary designated offence” is a serious offence, such as a sexual assault or a serious assault. If you’re convicted of a primary designated offence, the court must ask for a DNA sample from you. A record of your DNA sample will be kept in the National DNA Data Bank.

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Primary residence is the place where your child lives most of the time.

Title: privilege
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This is a special way of treating certain types of information. Information that is privileged cannot be used or shared in court or disclosed to anyone outside of court unless permission is given by the party to whom the privilege attaches. Privilege helps to encourage relationships that are necessary for the proper functioning of the judicial system. This includes relationships between:

  • lawyers and their clients
  • confidential tipsters and the police
Title: probation
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Probation can be something a criminal court orders that you have to do as part of your sentence. A sentence is the punishment the court gives you if you're found guilty.

Probation usually comes with conditions. For example, you may have to report to a probation officer or go to a drug treatment program.

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A procedural order is an order for something that helps move your case along. For example, an order that has a timeline for you and your partner to exchange certain documents, or an order that gives you more time to file documents with the court.

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A process server is someone who is in the business of serving or giving documents to a party involved in a court case. To find process servers in your area, look in the yellow pages or visit www.canada411.ca and search for "process server".

Title: prohibition
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A prohibition is something that a court order forbids you from doing. For example, if you committed a violent offence, you will probably not be allowed to own a weapon for 5 or 10 years. The prohibition is usually given as part of a sentence. A sentence is the punishment that the court gives you if you’re found guilty.

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A promise to appear is a legal document that you sign. It says that you promise to go to court on a specific date.

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