I’ve been charged with Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm. What do I need to know?
Question & AnswerI’ve been charged with Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm. What do I need to know?
3. Understand the evidence in your case
To prove a case , the Crown can use different types of evidence. Examples of include:
- A witness who tells the judge what they saw. This is known as “oral evidence”. It will be up to the judge to decide if they believe the witness.
- An expert who gives an opinion. For example, an expert on how guns work.
- Documents. For example, a certificate of your firearms training.
- Photos or videos.
- Objects found at the crime scene. These are known as “real evidence”.
The Crown must give you a copy of all the evidence they have collected in your case. The copy you get is called “disclosure“.
The Crown will normally give you some disclosure inside the courtroom the first time you go to court. Often you won't get all your at once. You may have to go back to court a few times before you get it all.
Review any disclosure you get and look for important items, including:
- a police summary of the case, sometimes called the “synopsis”
- police officers' notes
- witness statements
- photos or videos
- Crown position, which is the that the Crown will agree to if you
If you think something is missing from your disclosure, you can write a letter to the Crown to ask for it. Then on your next court date ask the Crown if they have your missing disclosure.
You have the right to get your disclosure before you decide whether to plead guilty or set a date for . You should tell the judge in court if the Crown is not giving you disclosure that you asked for.
After you review your disclosure, you can decide if you think the Crown has enough evidence to prove you're guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
It's a good idea to have a lawyer review your disclosure with you before you decide what to do in your case. Even if you think the Crown has enough evidence about what happened, you may still have a legal defence.