Which court should I choose for my trial?

2. Choose the court for your trial

In most cases, if you've been charged with an , or a that the Crown decides to treat as an indictable offence, you can choose the court your will be held in and who decides your trial.

You might choose to have your trial at the:

  • with a judge,
  • with a judge, or
  • Superior Court of Justice with a judge and jury.

This is called “making an ”.

Preliminary inquiries

You also have the option to ask for a preliminary inquiry if:

  • you choose to have your trial at the Superior Court of Justice, and
  • you could be jailed for more than 14 years if you're found guilty

A is when a judge at the Ontario Court of Justice looks at the Crown's to see if there's enough evidence to have a trial. If the judge thinks there's enough evidence, you will have a trial at the Superior Court of Justice.

Make a decision

Think carefully about how you want to handle your case. Talk to a lawyer or about your trial strategy and what would be best for you. Some things to think about include:

  • whether there are a lot of technical issues that would be better decided by a judge alone
  • how useful a preliminary inquiry would be, if you can ask for one
  • whether you will be in jail or out on while waiting for your preliminary inquiry or trial dates
  • your background and whether you would well in front of a jury
  • the type of crime and the you could get
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