I’m glad you could join me today I want to talk to you about the typical court process for a mischief charge under the Criminal Code of Canada. So what are the general steps? Once you’ve been charged with mischief that happened in court out of court? What are the timelines, if the charges have withdrawn, you plead guilty or go to trial, these are the things that clients want to know, they want to know what’s going to happen with their case, and what to expect. We go over this very carefully with them at our initial meetings and all throughout, we need to keep reminding them of the court process because it’s important to be informed. So what happens? Well, let’s say I’m charged today with mischief by the police, I broke something in my home, I was mad at my spouse and broke some dishes that we jointly own. So you’re going to be charged with mischief or a damaged a car intentionally, whatever I did, I get it, you’re going to be charged with mischief by the police. And if you have no prior criminal record, they’re going to release you they’re not going to probably have to have a bail hearing. And they’re gonna release you in a promise to appear or an officer in charge undertaking likely, and they’re going to give you a court date. It’s hard to say it depends on the county, but typically we’ll say three to six weeks down the road. So you hire a lawyer. And what that lawyer does is they have you sign a designation. It’s just a document that gets filed with the court where that lawyer is there represent you. The lawyer will order the police reports. It’s called the disclosure, all the witness statements, video statements, police notes, you name it, there’s going to be a extensive package of documents that are provided to defense counsel eventually, and that those documents really the defense counsel needs to read them carefully. review them analyze them to figure out well, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the crown case? What should we do with this case? Should the client consider pleading guilty? Can we when it is your defense, you name it? It’s all in those documents. Now the Crown’s attorney’s offices in the province, they strive to get us those documents before the first court appearance. But it doesn’t always happen, believe me. In fact, it seems to be happening less and less over the years. And we often get those documents after the first appearance. So what do I do as a lawyer, I attend the first appearance for you in court. That designation has been filed. So now our court system during COVID and probably after COVID two and I’ll do it later update when we get to COVID the first court date automatically goes over 12 weeks. So that’s automatic now. And as a lawyer, we’re expected to complete as many steps as possible in that 12 weeks to move your file along. So the first step of course is reviewing and analyzing disclosure, having one or more meetings with you as a client where we review it receive your version of events and figure out again, the strength is weak since the case is this defendable. Should we resolve it can we get diversion will the crowd tried? Can I get a peace bond? And as a lawyer I’m thinking what’s the crowd likely to offer hear me Should this head to trial because there’s such a weak case should it be withdrawn I know the strategy after meeting with the client after review all this stuff so that’s crucial that’s a crucial step reviewing this so we’ll have one or more meetings we’ll probably get you to write out your version of events. Get your personal history and background if we’re negotiating a deal because your backgrounds important that your prior person a good person a good prayer character. Now I’m ready to meet with the crowd. So that meeting will likely take place between the first and second court appearance is called a crown pre trial at that meeting with your instructions. I am having a fulsome discussion of every aspect of that file with the crown attorney I’m trying to convince of course the crown to withdraw the charge in the right case are going diversion which where you can get a peace bond perhaps and get this withdrawn if it’s a more minor case we’re going to see what the crowds offering we need to know maybe they’re offering a conditional discharge but you know wonderful offered boys a record except I think I go in this case so after trial we go we have that discussion. I report back to you I report back all the issues that are discussion, the credit I might need further discussions By the way, the crown might say for example, look, you know if your client gets upfront counseling, I can agree to diversion withdraw the charge. Maybe a great deal if you’re not innocent. You know, you might not want to do that if we got a slam dunk case, but slam dunks are rare. Yeah, there’s risk always heading to trial in Ontario. So you provide me with your instructions you say Mike, they’re off they’re not average deal. You’ve told me I got a decent chance of winning off to trial we go or Mike that’s great. I got to get a peace bond. I’ll do the counseling. Let’s do it. You know And will eventually take this deal. So if we decide to go to trial, the next step in the file is to have what’s called a judicial pre trial, which is simply a meeting with a judge who is not the trial judge where the crowd and I sit down and review all aspects of the file with the trial judge, how many witnesses can be called the names of the crowd witnesses with the legal issues with the factual issues are that crowd the judge might write man or chime in about the strengths and weakness case? Maybe they if they’re more interventionist judged, they might convince the crowd to offer a deal. That’s our kind of our last hope you get a deal and, and that’s a required step we might need, we might need more than one judicial pre trial, usually at once enough for a mischief because it’s not a complex case. After we’ve had that initial pre trial, we are in a position to set a trial date. Now, where are we in the process? Well, we’ve had our first appearance will quite not haven’t had our second appearance yet. But we’ve already had a judicial pre trial. So at the second appearance, we might be in a position to set a trial date, that’s only three months from, you know, that’s 12 weeks from your first appearance, or we might not we might not have full disclosure at this point, we often don’t get full disclosure with the initial package. So what’s the timeline then? So we might need, you know, sometimes we need more than than the second appearance, it might go to third period, sometimes even a fourth, it really depends, every case is different. But we’re trying to move the file along as quickly as possible. But we’re a little bit at the mercy of the crowd, whether they get us full disclosure, we’re a little bit at the mercy of how many criminal pre trials we need, I should say, yeah, crown pre trials we need which is the meaning. And the judge might want another judicial pre trial, or you’re doing counseling as well at this point. So now, okay, so let’s say we’re, let’s say it goes to a third appearance, we’re now you know, we had our first parents were 12 weeks in and other parents three weeks down, there were 15 weeks in at this point, we’re almost four months in, now we’re net ready to set a trial date, because we’ve completed all the necessary steps leading up to all the prerequisite is to setting a trial date. So we organize a trial date with the trial coordinator, we’ve estimated one full day of trial time, that set down the road at the next court appearance and no wins that trial gonna take place. Well, it really depends on the county, I can tell you this. In some counties, we might be able to get a trial date, six, seven months after the first appearance, but that’s really pushing it believe me in Ontario, that’s a rarity. In others that might be nine to 12, and less busy counties and others 12 to 15. I’ve even even seen trial dates offered up to 18 months. So in Ontario and Canada fact you’re expected to complete your trial. 18 months is the limit really after the date of arrest, or you might have delay issue, I covered that in another another video, you might be able to get your church state depending on on the factor. So that’s if the matter has to trial. Okay, so what are the outside parameters? Six months is almost too early, but I’ll say six to 15 months, even 18 months in some counties, but more likely in the nine to 15 range depending on the county after your date of arrest, okay. Now, if you decide to plead guilty, or you’ve got a great deal, that the court stage can be moved forward if you decide to plead guilty, and we had a first appearance and went over to second parents, that second appearance can be moved forward, hey, they’re offering conditional discharge no record, or they’re offering a peace bond. So don’t worry about the court dates. The remain court system, it’s a real anachronism, old, outdated is useless. And I hate to say that, you can watch some videos I’ve done that including some of my critiques about COVID and other videos I’ve done on critiquing the court system. Think of it this way. It’s just a reporting mechanism where the crowd and I appear before just a piece and say, Look, the just pieces asking what the heck’s going on in the file, Your Worship, we’ve had a crown pre trial, we just need a judicial pre trial that can be done by email, I don’t know why we have our system. Don’t worry about the remains there, they can be moved forward, they can move backward. Don’t worry about how long matters go over because the real steps in the file are taking place between the remains in my office in a judge’s office or the crown attorney’s office with our meetings, okay. So in other words, if the matters resolve that resolution could take place, even within a month or less of the of the first appearance, frankly, if we can get organized and we get to disclosure. So resolutions, you’re looking at more of a one to five to six month timeline, anywhere in that region, especially if you have to do counseling but by the way, if the withdraw if you do Kelsey and Kelsey is going to take time. So those are the timelines. Those are the general steps in a in a minister of charge. I encourage you to watch my videos on all of these topics because I cover first appearances I cover the disclosure process, I break it down, I encourage initial pre trials, crown pre trials, and what happens at a trial in a whole host of videos. But this is just a general overview and I hope this helps you understand how your mischief charge is going to proceed. 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.