Criminal Pre-Trials

What is a Crown Pre-Trial?

A crown pre-trial, or a “crown resolution meeting,” is a meeting between your lawyer and the Crown prosecutor handling your case. Although they are not needed in every case, they typically happen after disclosure has been delivered and each side has a clear idea of their respective positions. The subjects that might be covered at a crown pre-trial include guilty plea negotiations, and requests to vary bail conditions or rectify insufficient disclosure. The logistics involved in the upcoming trial may also be discussed. This would include such matters as the number of witnesses that will be called at trial, or the number of days that should be scheduled for trial.

A crown pre-trial is one of the features of the criminal justice process that demonstrates how important it is for an accused person to obtain legal representation. Arranging a crown pre-trial as a self-represented accused is incredibly difficult, and it is not wise for an accused person to speak directly to the person prosecuting them. Most Crown Attorneys will refuse to meet with an accused person to discuss their case, and will insist that all conversations be conducted through their appointed legal representative.

Some accused people are very eager to talk with the prosecutor to explain themselves, but there are dangers associated with doing so. Just as an accused person should be careful when it comes to sharing information with the police, they should be leery of the information they provide to a Crown prosecutor. Any of the information shared with them can be used to incriminate you. Thus, it is of vital importance that you obtain a lawyer to handle all interactions with the Crown, so they can ensure that no information is exchanged that will hurt your chances of obtaining a favourable outcome.

What is a judicial pre-trial?

A judicial pre-trial is very similar to a crown pre-trial, with the key distinction being that a judicial pre-trial is conducted under the supervision of a judge. The judge may help to narrow the issues in the case, and can help to resolve any impasse that may have formed in the negotiations between your lawyer and the prosecutor. The judge provides an impartial perspective that may help to move plea negotiations along, and they sometimes offer their prediction regarding a potential sentence should the matter proceed to trial. 

Depending on the jurisdiction you are charged in, a judicial pre-trial may be mandatory, particularly if your case is complex and you appear headed for a long trial. A judicial pre-trial may occur in a closed court room or in a judge’s chambers. A closed court proceeding is one that cannot be attended by an accused.  This is to encourage honest and open discussion at the proceeding. All conversations in a closed proceeding are considered “off the record” for this same reason. Although you are not allowed to attend, you have nothing to worry about, as your lawyer will never agree to anything without first obtaining your consent.

If you have been charged with an offence, please contact DUVADIE Law at (613) 422-1155 or Toll-Free 1 (855) 422-1155 as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your behalf.

Page last updated Sep 21, 2018 @ 23:03

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