I want to talk to you today about the typical court process for a fraud charge. If you’re charged with a fraud, you’ll want to know what the timelines are. How’s your case going to progress the system? How long is it going to take if you plead guilty, if your resolve it, if it has a trial, these are crucial issues because your life’s on hold essentially, when you’re charged with a criminal offense. And you’re also going to want to know the general steps, the basic steps in your in your file for fraud charge. So let’s go over that with you today. So I like to take a hypothetical, you’re charged with fraud today, the police show up your house, they arrest you, and they released you say on a promise to appear or or an officer in charge undertaking. And they’re typically going to give you a court date, oh, probably three to six weeks down the road, it may be a little longer, rarely shorter, by the way. And you go out and hire a lawyer. So you hire crews law firm. So what do we do? How do we guide you through this system? So the first thing we do, aside from giving you basic legal advice at this point with multiple meetings in before we received and disclosure is we order the police reports the disclosure, it’s called all of the evidence against you that may be hundreds of pages, or it might be 1000s. depending on the complexity of the case, or maybe dozens, it really depends because there’s frauds of $1,000 up to millions of dollars, it really depends. So we need all those documents to provide you with a proper legal opinion, we need you to we need to review them ourselves. Come up with an opinion about whether we can win your case or whether it should be resolved. Because it’s not some cases are so strong, they can’t be won. What we think the crown will offer us will they offer the deal where they will they withdraw it? We always want the charge withdrawn? There’s no reasonable prospect conviction, or, or can we avoid a criminal record with conditional discharge or even a peace bond, for example, repayment of money. So there’s all options on the table, I need to provide you with a proper legal opinion about what we should do with this file. What do you want to do is to important point, though, based on on my legal advice. So I meet with you, we review this generally, it may be many meetings, especially with a complex case, we’re going to want you to review the disclosure on your own as well and prepare notes and a statement for us that we may go through multiple drafts on that. And ultimately, I’m able to provide you with the opinion or look, what are the odds of winning this case? Is that a strong strong crown case? Is that week, is it somewhere in the middle? Is it 5050, I can generally give you parameters of odds within reason within a range of our odds of winning a trial. And I’m also going to advise you what I think the crown might offer. I mean, that’s an open question I can’t predict perfectly but I have an idea what the crown is going to offer. And so with your instructions, you might say to me, Mike, if they don’t offer a great deal of voiding a record, we have at least a 5050 chance of winning, I want to have a trial. Or you know what? I’m guilty. It’s a strong case against me. Let’s get the best deal I can Can I can I get a peace bond? Can I get a conditional discharge? can I avoid jail, please meet with the crowd. So I’m going to meet with a crown attorney. Now bear in mind with your court date. We typically do not receive disclosure, I shouldn’t say that we sometimes receive disclosure before the first court date, not always it’s hit and miss the crowds officers like to try and get it to us. But you know, in recent years, it seems to be allotted delay. So sometimes we receive it after the first court appearance. So what happens at that first court appearance is we have a piece of paper we’ve filed cause a designation, it’s just a document saying we represent you and we attend your first court appearance you do not attend in Ontario. The remand goes over the court date goes over 12 weeks automatically. And we’re as lawyers expected to complete as many steps of the file as we can in those 12 weeks. And hopefully we received disclosure. So in the 12 weeks now, sometimes we don’t even receive disclosure for lack of the first appearance, especially on a complex case, but we always hope we do. So once we’ve had all these meetings with you. And I have your instructions about what you tend to want to do with the file. I’m ready to meet with the crown attorney and start discussing your file. And I’m going to meet with the crowd. And of course, if it’s a weak case, I’m going to try and convince them withdraw it, maybe give a peace bond. You know, maybe we can discuss restitution for a conditional discharge, pay back the alleged victim or maybe we’re heading to trial, the crowds being unreasonable. I think I got a pretty good case to when the crowd thinks it’s 5050. There, they want yours in jail. For example, we’re going to set a trial date. You know the client wants to go to trial. So this is a very fulsome discussion with the crown where we discuss all aspects of your case, your background, with a view to a getting the best possible deal on the table. also discussing trial management issues like the court time, I take that discussion back to you. And with my legal advice, you tell me what you want to do. I may need further meetings with the crown as well, especially in a complex case, it may require multiple crown pre trials meetings where I have that. And obviously, I give you legal advice, but everything is up to you. It’s your decision. I mean, even if it’s a strong hell case against you, and you don’t want to plead guilty, you want to trial that’s your decision, not mine, I may recommend against it strongly. But I’m here to follow what you want to do. Most clients choose to follow my legal by some don’t. And that’s their decision, not mine. So So where are we at now. So if it’s a trial, we’ve put matter over we appear to first periods, we put it over 12 weeks, I doubt we’re gonna have the additional pre trial in those 12 weeks, there’s too much complexities to most cases that do that, we’ll probably have additional pre trial, after the 12 weeks. Hopefully just one meeting with the judge, maybe multiple. After we’ve had that meeting with the judge. By the way, at the meeting, we’re discussing every aspect of your case, the judge is helping us estimate court time, we’re discussing all the issues, it’s our last chance to resolve it, the judge may give some input, judges might say the crowd For example, I agree with that fence is a weak case, when you offer a peace plan. That’s nice. When that happens, by the way, or, or we’re just managing for time, it’s 5050, the crowds aren’t offering anything very full discussion. So now we know where we’re headed, where they let’s say we’re headed to trial. So after we complete the judicial trial, a pre trial process are off and we know we’re headed to trial, let’s say it’s a three day trial, our office will reach out the trial coordinator will organize the first available trial date. And then we’re in a position to set that on the record. Now, when was that trial date be? Well, if the trials in the charity quarter justice, let’s say it’s a minor fraud charge, fraud under $5,000. Once went to trial going to be well, that’s a good question. It depends on the county. There are some counties in the province where you can get a quick trial date, you might be able to get a trial date six to seven months after the first court appearance. Maybe that’s low ambitious, but I’ve seen it happen. In other counties, you’re looking maybe 12 to 15, sometimes some maybe even updating if you go into busy jurisdictions like Brampton, I’ve seen cases approached 18 months at times. It really depends if you told me a county, because we work many counties, our firm and we have many different offices, I can tell you the approximate timelines, but it really varies. What is an average I’d say 12 to 15 months maybe is the average in the province for your trial, from the first court appearance or even from the date of your arrest, I would say 12 to 15 months is probably reasonable estimate some lesser counties less, maybe sometimes busier counties longer. By the way, if it’s over 18 months, you have to analyze it, you’re supposed to complete your trial 18 months from the date received term court justice, you might have a delay or even if you’re not depending on whether defense counsel costs parts of the delay or not. That’s a topic for another video I did you should watch that video on on section 11 b charter delay applications. So that’s the trial timeline, of course, getting ready for trial, the preparation for trial, you should watch my other videos on that that about the trial process. And all that goes into that I won’t go into detail about that. Now let’s go back to resolving the file. What are the timelines for that? Well, that can be very quick. In some cases, actually, we received disclosure. And I’ve reviewed it with you and I’m getting a great deal from the crown. We can bring that 12 weeks for that that second court appearance to plead guilty, for example, for conditional discharge, maybe they’re gonna withdraw the church, that’d be great. We can bring it forward to that, or a peace bond. So that process can take place very quickly. Maybe they want counseling on that, you know, because you’re you’ve had a fraud and they want some, you know, Kelson for that to get a peace bond or to get a late lenient sentence. So that when can we plead guilty? I would say most ambitious would be within a month of your first appearance and up to even six months depending on the complexities of the file but but don’t worry about those court dates have they’ve done over two weeks 12 weeks, all the real work on these files takes place in my office in the Crown’s office, me working with the crown negotiating with the crowd. In a judge’s office, me meeting with judges. The court system is just a reporting mechanism. I’m just showing up and telling JP what what stage we’re at in the file. We can Get rid of that system by the way that it’s like Reporting to Your boss. And you’re right you, you could write an email to your boss and say I’m I’m working on the project Oh, keep working harder that that’s our court system, which is really outdated and old. And I encourage you to watch one of my videos. I think I got a couple videos on critiquing the court system. So this is new, by the way, the 12 weeks that just came in and went over 12 weeks during COVID. I think they’re gonna keep that over your COVID I’m not sure. But I’ll give you an update on that. So that’s for a summary conviction theft under or I should say fraud under $5,000 charge now, what if it’s more complicated case fraud over 5000? Well, if the crowd Alexa merrily, then it’s the same timeline I just gave you. If the crown elects by indictment, then that can be a different timeline, because you can elect if you will, more election rights, you can elect to be tried the entire Court of Justice, you can elect to be tried in the Superior Court of Justice, the higher court, either judge, loan or judge and jury. Now, if you elect to be tried in the Ontario Court of Justice, it’s the same timelines I just said the same court process. If you elect to be tried in the Superior Court of Justice, either judge and jury or judge lawn, it starts out with the same process that I just went over in the chair Court of Justice. But at some point, you file an election document, say, four or five months in, in the interior in the remand court case management court, and it gets moved up to the High Court, the spirit Court of Justice, different timelines there, it tends to take longer now, you don’t have a right to a preliminary hearing, because they got rid of that right for cases with a maximum penalty, you know, for fraud. But you do have a right to a jury trial. If it’s a jury trial, the timelines could be very long. I mean, the maximum timeline that from arrest to date of trial is maximally supposed to be 36 months. If it goes beyond that you might have a delay argument, Maybe yes, maybe no, depending on the situation. I’m just thinking out loud. If it moved over spirit court in six months, maybe you’re going to get a trial 12 to 18 months after that, if it’s judged alone, quicker in some smaller counties, but not certainly not the bigger counties. If it’s a jury trial, well, God knows right now, because jury crowds are posturing, COVID. So I don’t know, but it could be a long time before you get a jury trial. But sometimes it’s advantageous to go to Superior Court. And I cover that in other videos, all of these little toss up topics, you name it that I’ve stated in this video about the different steps. I have covered that subtopic in depth in other videos, which I encourage you to watch. But in this video, I just wanted to give you the typical overview which we give clients. We also break it down and explain each different process to clients during every meeting, frankly. And we also encourage our clients to watch your videos because it it reinforces what the they said to us. So I hope you got some useful information today about understanding the typical court process for fraud charges in Ontario. 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.
Complete the form below to get a free meeting and quote.
Complete the form below to get a free meeting and quote.