Our law firm represents a lot of people charged with criminal harassment. Very early on in the process when they retain us even at the first initial consultation, we carefully explain the court system to them, what are the general steps in their file? How long is it going to typically take if you decide to resolve it, versus heading to trial? That's what I'm here to talk to you about today. So let's take a hypothetical where you're charged of criminal harassment today. The police arrest you and release you, you have no prior criminal record. They released a promise to appear or not, or an officer in charge undertaking. And they give you a court date, typically about three to six weeks down the road. you retain our law firm say a week later, what do we do? Well, first of all, the very first thing we do is we order the police reports that's called the disclosure. All of the witness statements, video statements, any evidence against you, the crown attorney is required to provide it to us, pursuant to a case called Regina get Stinchcomb from the Supreme Court of Canada. Now the crown, they try to get that to us by the first court appearance, but they often don't succeed in that, but typically will receive it, sometimes between the first and second court appearance sometimes before the first appearance, where that's the crucial documents, we need to analyze your case, in the context of those documents, and your version of events receiving both of those, I'm able to tell you what your odds of winning are, where she we should head with this case and what our best bet is, on a cost benefit analysis, should we proceed to trial? Or should we take the best possible offer that the Crown's offering us Best Buy so offers or withdraw, we're going to take that every time, maybe a peace bond, conditional discharge, or maybe the Crown's asking for jail, and we got a good chance of winning. So we'll head to trial, the crowds not being reasonable. These are fulsome discussions to which I have with you, when we received the police reports, the disclosure that may take several meetings, I receive your version events, I want you to review this closure on your own as well. So you completely understand it and make notes for me. And we craft a statement for you, obviously in your words, but we do we might do multiple drafts of that. Now you then give me instructions about what you want to do. Well, if I'm not offered a great deal, Mike, I just want to head to trial, you've told me I get a good chance of winning Well, we can go do that that's not a problem. Or you know what? I'm guilty? Just give me the best deal you can they get an overwhelming case against me. So armed with your instructions and my knowledge of the case about where we want to head, I set up what's called a crown pre trial fancy name for just a meeting with the crown. And we start discussing the case the crown has their viewpoint I have mine we discuss your background, we discuss what's the crowd offering, will they withdraw the charge? Is there any reasonable prospect your conviction, I try and get this and withdraw the charge in appropriate case, I might try to convince them if they've got a case to go for a peace bond because it's mine or a conditional discharge where we avoid a record or you know what, the crowds not being reasonable, we have a pretty good case to win. And it's going to be a trial in some cases just have to go to trial because the crowd is not being reasonable or, you know, or it's a 5050 case. They're being reasonable. They think we can win. We've got we got a shot at it. So this discussion about trial issues, the crowded I discuss all aspects of the case. Time management, we have to estimate court time we have to know who the witnesses are being called the legal issues, the factual issues, the applications that I need to bring if there's applications to exclude evidence, charter issues, these can be involved discussions on this type of case, we might need more than that a couple meetings, I report back to you about our discussions and give you an idea what we should do. I mean, it's all your decision making but I make recommendations to you but ultimately it's all up to you hopefully follow my legal advice. Some clients choose to go to trial, even when they're offered a good deal. That's totally up to you. In the meantime, we've had our first appearance that that that was three to six weeks after the arrest. We filed that designation which is the document where we're your lawyer is before the court were named I named as your lawyer in and Kruse Law Firm. And in Ontario, the matter automatically goes over for 12 weeks. That's protocol brought in during COVID. I suspect they're gonna keep that protocol because it's working very well. And don't worry about the 12 weeks so we're still doing the steps in the file. All that work on your file. It doesn't happen at this remain court. It happens between the in my office. It happens In the Crown's office, it happens when I meet with a judge. So, so you've said to me, look, Mike, it's they've offered a great deal to me for conditional discharge, I'm guilty, I don't have very good chance of winning. Let's do that. So what I might, what I might do at that point is having a judicial pre trial to have a judge approve the deal. So I organize that. The judge says, Yes, that's fine. I can live with that as a joint submission, the crown on agreeing to now we can get a court date. So that court date that would over 12 weeks, I can bring that forward to deal with that guilty plea. That's not a prompt, so don't worry about that. This, you see, the court dates are just a reporting mechanism, they're outdated, they should get rid of this remand system. I review that other videos, you should watch that all the court dates are is reporting mechanism for me and the crown for the crown. And I should say, to tell the judges that just as a piece of what's going on in the case, is kind of like reporting your boss, what's going on with this project. And the court says, Okay, I'll give you another six weeks to complete the next steps in the file. Think of it that way it we could do that by email, I don't know why they don't get rid of the system, actually. But that that's the system we're stuck with. So what if the crowd says, You know what, I'll give a peace bond if you get approved housing. So we need 10 weeks of counseling, we complete that process, great deal, inner peace bond, no criminal record charge withdrawn again, we can move the court date forward. Now what if you want to head to trial, we're not being offered a deal, you claim you're innocent? Well, we now to need to manage court time, we need to have in addition to my discussions with the crown, where we're managing court time and talking about all legal issues, I need to have the next step, which is called judicial pre trial. I organized that with the trial coordinator, I meet, we get we get that date. So I meet with the crown, and a judge who's not the trial judge, we have, again, a very fulsome discussion about all the legal issues, all the factual issues, whether there's charter applications, what witnesses are going to be called order of the trial word years about excluding statements, you name it, we discussed it at that, at that meeting. And the judge crowd and I estimate the trial time, maybe it's a one day trial, if it's a simple case, maybe it's two, or even three, if it's very complicated criminal harassment. Once we've completed the judicial pre trial, and it might take more than one, usually one with a criminal harassment, sometimes more than one on a complex case, we're in a position to set a trial date. So where are we in the remand system at this point? Well, bear in mind, the matter went over 12 weeks, it's probably a rarity, where we've had the judicial pre trial before the 12 weeks is complete. Usually, we need another remand. Sometimes too, if it's more complex case with missing disclosure, for example. But we set a Strout trial dates. So we're probably in a position I'm going to say, in most counties to set a trial date to organize with a trial cleaner, probably about three to five months after the date of your Ras rep position set a trial date. And when's that trial going to take place? Well, again, it depends on the county, if you're in Brampton, it's gonna be a long way down the road in Toronto, if you're in walkerton, it's going to be a quick date, the quickest days, and this is pretty ambitious. In a smaller county and our firm, we have multiple losses of materials. So we know all the counties in Ontario, the quickest might be six to seven months, that's ambitious. By the way, after the data rest, the longest might be even up to 18, I would say the average is probably the nine to 15 months range after the date of your arrest. Bear in mind. You know, your trial is supposed to be completed within 18 months, your day to rest or you might have a delay argument. So that's a trial process. And then we get ready for the trial. A lot of work is involved in that preparation, preparing you preparing myself preparing to cross examine the witnesses, submissions, legal issues, charter applications, you name it. There's literally probably dozens of hours of work involved in getting ready for one of these cases properly. And that's a continuum you're starting to prepare from day one. But the real real hard preparation for trial really takes place in that month before the trial including multiple meanings with you to get you ready to testify in case you need to testify. So that's the trial process. That's the timeline we'll call it 18 months at the max ambitiously in a very county that's not busy, maybe six or seven, but I'm probably overstating that, frankly, even on the small counties. So what if you decide to plead guilty? Well, that can be done anytime frankly, after we receive disclosure met with the crown. I might not need a judicial pre trial to a prove the deal. Or I might, if it's a tricky deal, it's a joint submission, we can pull that 12 weeks ahead and do that anytime bring the matter forward and get it done. Or you might need to do counseling, for example, so we need to delay things. So in terms of resolving a criminal harassment matter, really, that could be done all ambitiously, within two months, I doubt one, that'd be a rarity. You're looking anywhere from one to five months, depending on whether you need counseling, etc. But of course, we're trying to get this charge withdrawn. That's our ultimate goal, or winning the case. So I'd like you to watch all of my other videos on these topics, because they cover each of these topics like the first appearance, what happens, their first appearance, what happens at a crown pre trial, what happens to traditional pre trial? How does it trial function? What's the trial process? Every one of these topics is covered? What is what is a designation, you name it in all of the other videos? I just wanted to give you an overview today of you today of the typical court process for a criminal harassment. One addendum to this is criminal harassment or dual procedure offense. So I'm talking about the court process I just gave you is for a summary conviction criminal harassment, if the criminal acts by indictment, because it's a very serious offense, or they have to elect by indictment, if it's historical. In other words, if the charge occurred one year before the police arrest you over one year, they have to charge my David, you have a right to election to the superior court judge, loan or judge and jury. It's a similar process that I just said the same thing is going to take place in church or to justice to work up the file the timelines, but at some point is going to get moved in the Superior Court of Justice, you're going to find a selection document electing the judge and jury or judge alone. And it's going to be a longer timeline. You are you can elect to be tried the Ontario Court of Justice, you have multiple elections. But if you elect to go up, because you want a jury trial, or you think the Superior Court of Justice says judges are more liberal than the interior court, every county is different. Some judges are more crowd friendly in the interior Court of Justice, some aren't, it depends on the county, that timeline is going to be much longer. I mean, the maximum timeline from the date of arrest to the completion trial, spring quarter just is supposed to be 36 months, but in a criminal harassment, you should be able to get your trial on before that. I mean, let's just go through it. Maybe it's moved in, maybe it's moved up to the spirit court after six months of being in court justice, maybe you're gonna get your trial on With any luck 12 to 15 months after that, but it could be longer in a busy County. And it could be much longer if you elect jury, because juries only sit so often. So again, I encourage you to read my other videos on all of these individual topics. But that's an overview of the timeline, the general steps and what to expect for a criminal harassment charge both a summary conviction and a dateable charge. Thank you for watching our video, we are absolutely committed to bringing you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you've been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario and require our services, please click on the link in the description below.