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I have a court date for a criminal charge in the Ontario Court of Justice. What should I do?

I have a court date for a criminal charge in the Ontario Court of Justice. What should I do?
Reviewed: 
May 22, 2020
Answer

If you’re supposed to go to the Ontario Court of Justice for a criminal charge between March 20, 2020 and July 3, 2020, don’t go to the court. This includes trials.

You case will automatically be adjourned to another date. Be aware that the dates may change again as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So make sure you check the list of adjournment dates before you go to court.

If you don’t attend court on your new court date, the judge will order a warrant for your arrest.

In the meantime, it’s still very important that you continue to follow the terms of your release order, such as your bail conditions or recognizance. Your case is still ongoing.

Move your case forward

If you have a lawyer, your lawyer is expected to try to move your case forward. For example, this can include:

If you don’t have a lawyer, you’re expected to try and move your case forward. For example, this can include:

For information about how to get disclosure, read this notice from the court.

Urgent matters

The court is also hearing some urgent matters. For example, this can include urgent:

  • guilty pleas where there is a deadline for eligibility for a particular program or where there are very strict bail conditions
  • applications to change police undertakings
  • applications to change probation or conditional sentence conditions

You must make a request to the court to have your urgent matter heard. And you should try to speak with the Crown before making a request. If you don’t have a lawyer, contact Legal Aid Ontario for help making a request.

Some courts are also dealing with non-urgent matters. Contact the court for more information.

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