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What happens after someone is arrested in Newmarket?
York Region arrests are made when a police officer either has witnessed a crime or has reasonable and probable grounds to believe an offence has been committed. Once arrested, the accused may be released on a promise to appear in court or be taken by the police officer into custody for a bail hearing at the Newmarket court. The accused will be fingerprinted and photographed. The suspect will be required to answer a series of personal questions and will then be placed in a holding cell. The police must give the accused reasonable phone calls and be allowed speak to a criminal defence lawyer of their choosing or to duty counsel.
The accused will be given a court hearing within 48 hours of being placed in custody. The suspect will be allowed to meet with their lawyer before the bail hearing takes place.
When the accused is taken to the courthouse, the court will inform the judge of the crime they are being charged with, and will ask the accused to enter a plea. The accused can either tell the judge that they are guilty or not guilty. Accused persons should get legal advice from their lawyer about which plea to enter before the hearing begins. The judge will then review the case to see if the accused should be released from custody pending the trial date.
A guilty plea is an admission of guilt, and the accused will be responsible for the penalties of the crime. A plea of not guilty means the crown attorney must prove the facts of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge at trial. Any witnesses must appear on the trial date to give evidence.
At the Newmarket courthouse most criminal proceedings will appear before a provincial court judge, without a jury and the judge will decide the outcome.
If after the trial the accused is found not guilty, they will be allowed to go free. If the accused is found guilty, or if the accused pleaded guilty, a sentencing hearing will be held immediately unless deferred by the court. At sentencing, the judge will listen to submissions from both the defence lawyer and the crown attorney regarding the accused, including any past criminal record and background in deciding a penalty.
Many criminal charges including impaired driving and dangerous driving have mandatory penalties like licence suspensions that the judge has no control over.
At the sentencing hearing the judge at the Newmarket court may want to hear the opinions of the accused’s friends and family, or from the victim(s) of the crime. The judge will then decide a penalty based on sentencing requirements and the evidence provided.