Court Process

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Court Process 2021-09-10T16:01:33+00:00

Your Guide to the Criminal Court Process by Criminal Defence Lawyers in Toronto

What You Can Do When Charged with a Criminal Offence (General)

If you are reading this, you have already taken the first step toward defending your case. Because every individual case is unique and fact-specific, it is first and foremost important to get legal advice from an Ontario criminal defence lawyer on what your next steps should be.

There are, however, a few general things you should do as soon as possible: 

Document What Happened: Write down in detail, and preferably in chronological order, what happened on the relevant day(s) in question. There should typically be three main aspects to this:

  • The circumstances leading up to the incident;
  • What actually took place during the incident; and
  • What has happened since the incident.

Ensure you use maps and diagrams where applicable and put a date on your notes.

Have Witnesses Document What Happened: Ask any witnesses who have any bearing on the case to write down what they saw from their perspective. This could include, for example, a friend who witnessed the event and can corroborate your version of events.

Keep a Journal: Keep an ongoing journal of any dealings associated with your case so you can update your lawyer. Like the original documentation of what happened, this will be most useful if documented in chronological order.

Store All Documents: It is important that you collect and maintain all documents issued to you by the police, the courts, or anyone else associated with your case. This could include, for example, the release documents you received at the police station.

Take and Store Relevant Photographs: Take pictures of anything relevant to the case, whether it is pictures of the scene, specific items, or yourself. For example, if you were involved in an altercation, and you are charged with assault, having documented photographs of your injuries may help to establish or support your claim that you were acting in self-defence.

Collect Personal Information/Documents: Start thinking about collecting information and documentation that casts you in a positive light. This could include any accomplishments in school, work, and your community.

Although at first this list may seem overwhelming, remember that collecting this information will help you. A lot of the stress that comes from being charged with a criminal offence is from putting off the steps outlined on this page. You can relieve much of this stress by doing the initial groundwork, and by retaining a competent lawyer to help you through the process.

What Can a Criminal Defence Lawyer Do to Help?

Having compiled the relevant information, your lawyer will be able to better assist you, as they will have a more thorough understanding of your side of the story. This allows them to fully canvass possible defences and strategies.

Once you retain one of our dedicated Toronto criminal defence lawyers, we will attend court on your behalf, and will deal with the judge, Crown Prosecutor, and police as required. It is important to note that the first court date is generally a procedural appearance. That is, nothing substantive happens that day. There may be several such appearances. We will attend as many as necessary to obtain and assess all the relevant information before taking the next step.

Importantly, we will obtain the police information (disclosure) package which outlines the case and evidence against you. We will review the information and discuss the case with you, and the Crown Prosecutor. From there, we will determine what to do next. One of the immediate benefits of having us as your lawyers is that you will not have to go to court or do anything further until we inform you otherwise. This can be a huge stress reliever while navigating the criminal justice system.

While we are attending proceedings for you and considering the best next steps for your case, it is critical that we always have your most current contact information. We cannot stress enough the importance of having clear lines of communication. Always contact our office to advise us of changes of your address, email, or phone number. If you plan to take any extended trips which may make communication difficult, please let us know well in advance.

Court Process Stages 

Navigating the criminal justice system can be scary and confusing. We have done our best to break down the various key components involved in the process. Please see the pages listed below for more information on the various stages of the criminal justice system process:

What’s Next?

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, please contact our Toronto office as soon as possible. The earlier you can contact us and provide us with the relevant information pertaining to your case, the sooner we can begin canvassing our options to arrive at the best possible solution for you.

Get A Free Consultation

Receive a free consultation to discuss your case.

We value your privacy, all information is kept strictly confidential.


Yamila Zeledon
Yamila Zeledon
15:32 06 Aug 21
I'm extremely satisfied with the work Dylan Finlay has done. My situation was looking grim but Dylan guided me through... the process and we received the best outcome I could have hoped for. Highly recommend the firm and Dylan Finlay.read more
Kyle Spicer
Kyle Spicer
22:03 29 Apr 21
I would like to start by saying thank you to Dylan Finlay for all the great work he has done for me, I thought I was... going to be dealing with a criminal record for the rest of my life and he managed to get me a criminal discharge on my case!He is on point and very professional, I would highly recommend Dylan Finlay to anybody who needs help with their criminal charges!Thank you once again Dylan!read more
Arun kumar
Arun kumar
19:31 04 Mar 21
I approached Okhyman Criminal Defence Toronto which I found online. Extremely happy with service, professionalism and... excellence of Dylan Finlay.Really happy with the outcome. I would highly recommend Dylan Finlay!read more
R M
R M
22:43 04 Nov 20
Dylan Finley handled my case. Right from the start he was polite, professional, attentive and he delivered on all of... his promises. I had a case where it was looking really bad for me. I did everything Dylan told me to do and he took care of the rest. My life was filled with stress and worry about the case. Dylan handled my case like a pro and I received the outcome that I desired. I highly recommend Dylan to anyone seeking a criminal defense lawyer. He has changed my life and given me the opportunity to have a bright future. All you have to do is:1) Hire Dylan.2) Listen to Everything Dylan tells you.3) Leave everything else to Dylan. He won't let you down.read more
mathews SAJU
mathews SAJU
04:16 10 Sep 20
One of the best lawyer and a professional who I got a chance to deal with! He was so quick and affordable. Without his... help I would have not been able to survive in Canada. I really wish him good luck for his future.🙏🏿read more
Allama Bhuiyan
Allama Bhuiyan
02:15 08 Sep 20
Dylan helped my family so much we are very grateful for his services. He was quick and very fair with charges.
Melissa anderson
Melissa anderson
21:18 16 Jan 20
Dylan Finlay is an professional and effective criminal defence lawyer. Dylan was my lawyer for an assault charge and... was excellent throughout the entire process. He advised me how to turn myself in and what to expect, and then helped me build a case while I waited for trial. He was responsive to my emails and his confidence and knowledge relieved my stress. Furthermore, he was reasonable priced for the quality of defence he provides. I am very thankful for his services and got a favourable result on my case. I highly recommend his services.read more
Rahul Chowdhury
Rahul Chowdhury
23:21 12 Dec 19
Don’t hesitate. Just hire Dylan Finlay.He is the best in the business. Knowledgeable, affordable and always reachable.... I would definitely recommend him for his support and great service.read more
EMR PRO
EMR PRO
20:54 26 Nov 19
After meeting with multiple criminal lawyers in Toronto I retained Dylan Finlay. My case just ended with a very... favourable resolution after following the legal process that Dylan described at our first meeting. I would recommend Dylan Finlay to my friends and family and appreciate Dylan's professionalism.read more
Ben Fjorka
Ben Fjorka
19:47 06 Nov 19
My lawyer was Dylan Finlay. He was excellent. His advice and professionalism secured me an extremely favorable... outcome in my case. Even more so than I originally thought possible due to some aggravating circumstances. I would highly recommend this firm. Dylan was available throughout the entire process by phone and email. I never once felt like my money was wasted, on the contrary. It was well spent. Going through the court process can be a tedious process. Dylan made the navigation much easier.read more
Pira Suri
Pira Suri
23:02 11 Oct 19
If you need a defence lawyer for anything then Dylan is the person you need to see. I was was facing a very difficult... case that involved assault with bodily harm which I was sure wasn't going to end well for me. However, Dylan presented my case to the judge at trial with great professionalism and with his great expertise in Law convinced the judge that I was not guilty. Throughout my whole ordeal, Dylan had been working behind the scene to built a solid defence for me. This really helped me out because it meant I did not have to get involved and have this problem control my life. Dylan relieved my stress and answered all my questions with the right answers to put me at ease. He was always available when ever I needed and would answer my emails right away.My words here cannot truly describe how great Dylan is, but I would highly highly highly recommend him to defend your case!read more
Omer Khan
Omer Khan
19:33 22 Jul 19
Dylan Finlay is an amazing legal representative and person.I was facing a challenging trial. After getting to speak... with Dylan he alleviated all of my stress and concern that burdened me. He provided valuable knowledge and was very intelligent and that eased my stress of the approaching Trial Court Dates . He provided an abundance of research and paperwork, he just had that intelligent edge and legal insight that was commendable. He was very kind and a pleasure too speak with and very personable. Look no further! The legal services provided to me by Dylan was an absolute success. Dylan returned my life back to me. He got me out of a very challenging situation. No matter how much I would thank you Dylan, you are the best 🙂read more
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Glowing Reviews From Our Clients

Excellent service! I would highly recommend going with this team. If I ever need assistance with anything of this manner again, I wouldn’t hesitate to call or email the team at Oykhman Criminal Defence again.


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Everyone was very professional and understanding. They explained everything and put me at ease. Any question I had were answered right. If you need help I’d highly recommend this law firm.


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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

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