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I have a judicial pre-trial for a criminal charge in the Superior Court of Justice. What should I do?

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I have a judicial pre-trial for a criminal charge in the Superior Court of Justice. What should I do?
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I have a judicial pre-trial for a criminal charge in the Superior Court of Justice. What should I do?
Reviewed: 
August 19, 2020
Answer

All judicial pre-trials scheduled to be heard after March 17, 2020 are adjourned unless the presiding judge has specifically ordered otherwise. Judicial pre-trials will be rescheduled as soon as possible, and may be conducted by telephone. You or your lawyer will reschedule your pre-trial through the trial coordinator.

If your judicial pre-trial is urgent because you’re in custody, you or your lawyer should contact the Crown and arrange to schedule your pre-trial through the trial coordinator.

In-person hearings

Make sure you get to court early as there are extra screening measures now. The government has developed a screening tool with questions that screen for COVID-19 symptoms. If you can't enter the courtroom, you will be given information about what to do next. If you can enter the courtoom, you will be required to wear a face covering.

And, in most cases, only the parties, their lawyers, and witnesses are allowed to enter the court for in-person hearings. Others, like family members and support persons, are allowed in only if "absolutely necessary".

Legal help

Legal Aid Ontario

You can get summary legal advice and duty counsel services over the phone from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) at 1-800-668-8258 or, in Toronto, at 416-979-1446. Because of COVID-19, anyone can use this service to get legal advice and information at this time. It doesn't matter what your income is.

You can also contact the court for more information.

Starting August 14, 2020 to the end of October, there will be LAO lawyers available to help with matters at 361 University Avenue, Toronto on Mondays and Fridays.

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