A trial is a process by which a judge will assess the evidence and decide whether you are guilty of an offence.
During the trial, the prosecution will produce evidence against you. You can also produce evidence in your defence.
At the end of the trial, the judge will decide whether to convict or acquit you on the charges. If you are convicted, the judge will proceed to sentence you. If you are acquitted, there will be no punishment.
If you intend to plead not guilty at Mentions Court, this means you are assumed to be claiming trial.
Claiming trial means you dispute the charges and would like a court hearing to defend yourself. You will be asked if you wish to engage a lawyer, if you are not represented.
If you wish to engage a lawyer, you will be given time to do so. Once the parties are ready, the court schedule a date for trial.
Understand what is involved in the criminal trial process.
Preparing your case for trial
The judge may schedule a pre-trial conference (PTC) to prepare both sides for the trial. In specific types of cases, a criminal case disclosure conference (CCDC) may be scheduled, in which both you and the prosecution will state your positions and outline your evidence.