What happens at a provincial offences trial, and how do I prepare?
Question & AnswerWhat happens at a provincial offences trial, and how do I prepare?
2. Ask for disclosure
Disclosure is the documents, evidence, or information that the police and prosecutor have about your case. It is sometimes called the “Crown’s brief”. This could include:
- the officer’s summary of the case
- the officer’s notes
- witness statements
- traffic accident report and diagrams
- surveillance video and photos
- expert report, for example, from an accident reconstruction expert
- a copy of the ticket
You’re entitled to receive, free of charge, all disclosure relevant to your case. But you must ask for disclosure to get it. You should make this request in writing so that you can keep a record to prove that you asked for disclosure. Be sure to follow-up and keep notes if you don’t receive anything.
For information about who to contact for disclosure, contact the court office on your ticket. You should do this before your trial date because there may be a large number of documents for you to review, and it may take some time for you to get everything.
If the prosecutor gives you disclosure and it seems like things are missing, let them know. Send a written request for the missing items to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor must keep sharing information with you as more becomes available.
The prosecutor should give you all of your disclosure before your trial date. If you still haven’t received full disclosure on your trial date, tell the court that you aren’t ready to have your trial because you haven’t received full disclosure. That way, the court record will show that the prosecutor is responsible for the delay.
It is unfair for your trial to happen if you have not had an opportunity to review all the evidence from the prosecutor.