Demonstrations

Demonstrations after a type of real evidence that are utilized less often in criminal trials. A demonstration involves an individual acting out or recreating a specific event for the court to see.

In criminal trials, the trial judge has discretion to allow demonstrations in court or not. A judge may permit a demonstration where doing so assists the court in understanding what the witness is trying to convey.

Example

Person A is on trial for sexual assault and assault – choking. Person B, the complainant, testifies that person A choked her with both hands while leaning over her while she was lying on her back on a bed. Person B is cross-examined by defence counsel, who suggests that her version of events is not physically possible. Person B demonstrates with her own hands, the placement of person A’s hands around her neck. This demonstration is visually seen by the judge and/or jury, who then make their own determination regarding whether or not person B’s version is plausible.

Common Examples of Demonstrations as Evidence

Common examples of demonstrations used in criminal trials include:

  • A witness acting out and describing how they were assaulted on the stand
  • An expert witness’s description of how an injury likely occurred

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In criminal cases, there are very strict rules governing what evidence can be used and how it can be used.

The rights enjoyed of all those within Canada are contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Criminal procedure is the process by which an accused person is arrested and brought through the justice system.

Sentencing refers to the punishment that is ordered when an individual is found guilty of a criminal offence.

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Offences in Canada are listed in the Criminal Code. They include crimes related to people, vehicles and weapons.

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