3. Ask for a Crown pre-trial

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How can I get my criminal charges dropped?
This question has an answer and 3 steps

3. Ask for a Crown pre-trial

Your first package of disclosure will contain instructions on how to schedule a Crown pre-trial.

The Crown pre-trial is the first chance to talk to the Crown about your case. You should schedule a Crown pre-trial as soon as you have enough disclosure to have a meaningful talk about your case.

The purpose of the Crown pre-trial is to talk about your case with the Crown to:

  • try to resolve your charges
  • ask the Crown to withdraw your charges if you complete diversion
  • address outstanding disclosure issues
  • discuss trial issues, accommodation needs (such as an interpreter), and how long the trial will take

If you haven't hired a lawyer and aren't financially eligible to use duty counsel, you can ask the Crown for a pre-trial. They may speak with you in a private area of the courthouse, or in the hallway outside the courtroom. They may ask you to schedule a judicial pre-trial instead.

If you have hired a lawyer, or have the help of duty counsel, they can ask for a Crown pre-trial.

After the Crown pre-trial

If the Crown doesn't drop your charges, you can:

  • have a judicial pre-trial to keep negotiating with the Crown, or to discuss trial issues and how long the trial will take
  • set a date for your trial
  • plead guilty

If your case is likely to take a lot of time in court, you may need a judicial pre-trial before you set a trial date. The Crown or your lawyer can ask for this.

You May Also Need

Law Society of Ontario
Legal Aid Ontario
Reviewed: November 20, 2017

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