I’ve been charged with Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm. 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 crime of Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm are:

  • You are in control of a gun, weapon, or ammunition. This means that you are the one who is carrying, transporting, or storing the item, or you arranged for it to be carried, transported, or stored somewhere.
  • You don't have a licence for the gun, weapon, or ammunition
  • You don't have a registration certificate for the gun, if it is a prohibited or restricted gun.

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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