The Criminal Investigation Process in Canada
The police are responsible for conducting criminal investigations in Canada. While there are a myriad of ways that the police can conduct their investigations, criminal investigations in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada generally involve the same steps.
Was a Crime Committed?
First, the police try to identify, based on the facts, whether a crime was committed. In other words, did someone do something that is prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or any other federal or provincial law.
If you are being investigated by the police it is imperative that you have the advice of a criminal defense lawyer to help protect your legal rights. You have the right to talk to a lawyer when the police arrest you. You sometimes also have the right to speak to a lawyer when the police detain you which may occur during the course of a police investigation. For more information you can read our article: What is the Right to Legal Counsel?
One purpose of a police investigation could be to gather and preserve evidence to support the criminal charges in court. The burden of proof in criminal cases requires the Crown to produce evidence to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the crime was committed and that it was committed by the person charged with the criminal offense (the accused).
A police investigation should follow all lines of inquiry which point to and from the accused. In other words, the police are supposed to look for evidence that may prove that the accused is guilty and the police should also look for and collect evidence that the accused person is innocent.
Sometimes it may appear that the police did not investigate all possible leads. Sometimes it appears that the police have not looked for evidence that might assist an accused person. Sometimes it appears that the police have "tunnel vision" when conducting an investigation and are focused on one accused person. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help discover and point out areas that the police may have failed to fully or properly investigate.
Think You Need Help?
If you are the subject of a criminal investigation and you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Nova Scotia you can contact Joshua Arnold Q.C. by calling toll-free in Atlantic Canada 1-877-423-2050 or you can contact us by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page.