You can go to your Crown pre-trial yourself if you don't have a lawyer, or you can ask duty counsel to go to the pre-trial for you. If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will book and handle your Crown pre-trial.
The main purpose of the pre-trial is to identify issues that might be raised at trial. You can discuss:
- whether you need an interpreter or other accommodation
- whether there are pre-trial motions or Charter applications
- how strong the Crown's case is against you
- how long the trial will take and the witnesses that might be heard from
You may also discuss ways to resolve your case, and the sentence the Crown is asking for if you plead guilty.
If you're not sure whether or not you want to take responsibility for the crime, do not talk about anything related to what happened during the crime when you speak with the Crown. You don’t want to accidentally say something during a pre-trial that the Crown can later use against you if you decide to plead not guilty and have a trial.
Talk to a lawyer or duty counsel before talking with the Crown. They can help you understand what you should talk about and what you should not talk about with the Crown.
If you decide that you want to take responsibility for the crime, you can have a special type of pre-trial called a resolution meeting.
A resolution meeting is focused on resolving your case without a trial. Instead of talking about how long a trial would take, you and the Crown talk about different ways to resolve your case, such as:
- diversion or alternative measures
- going to counselling or a treatment facility for substance use
- signing a peace bond
- pleading guilty
At a resolution meeting, you may want to talk to the Crown about things that were going on in your life that led up to the crime to try to negotiate a better deal or diversion.
Talk to a lawyer or duty counsel before you have a resolution meeting. They can help you understand what you should talk about and what you should not talk about with the Crown.
Your next court date
At your next court date, you can:
- ask the court for time to consider your options
- ask the court for time to hire a lawyer
- ask to plead guilty in front of a judge
- start diversion or the Partner Assault Response (PAR) program
- book a judicial pre-trial