I’ve been charged with Failure to Attend, Failure to Appear, or Failure to Comply with Undertaking. What do I need to know?

2. Understand what the Crown has to prove

In every criminal case, the Crown must prove at least four things:

  1. Identity: you’re the person who committed the crime.
  2. Jurisdiction: this is the correct court to deal with your case. For example, if you’re charged with something you did when you were under 18, you should be in a youth court.
  3. Date: the crime took place when the police say it did.
  4. Elements of the crime.

The elements of the crimes of Failure to Appear, Failure to Attend, and Failure to Comply with Undertaking are:

  • one of these was given to you:
    • an
    • an
    • a
    • a release order, for example, a form
    • an order from a judge or justice, including the judge saying it out loud to you in court
  • the document or order says the time and place you’re meant to go somewhere or do something
  • you don’t go to the place you were meant to go at the time you were meant to be there, or you don’t do the thing you’re supposed to do

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt

The judge can only find you guilty if they are certain about everything the Crown must prove. That means the Crown must prove identity, jurisdiction, date, and every element of the crime.

If the judge is not completely sure about even one of these things, the judge cannot find you guilty. This is known as “proof .”

It is not enough for the judge to think that you’re probably guilty, or that you’re likely guilty. They must be certain about everything the Crown must prove.

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