Welcome to our website. My name is Mike Kruse. I’m the principal and owner of Kruse Law Firm. I’m here today to talk to you about a domestic assault or summary conviction case, how it proceeds through the court system. In our court system, the Crown can elect summarily or they can elect by indictment. So on your typical domestic assault or theft under case they’re going to elect summarily. So what happens? So you’re going to be charged on a given day by the police. Your wife is claiming that you assaulted her for example, the police officer hopefully is going to take you back to the police station obviously and after having arrested you and release you on what’s called a promise to appear typically seeing you have no prior record so you don’t have to have a bail hearing. You’re going to be given a court date approximately three to six weeks down the road. And if you hire a lawyer, if you retain a lawyer, that lawyer is going to have you sign what’s called a designation. That’s simply a piece of paper where that lawyer is going to file it with the court and you do not have to attend court on that appearance. Now on that very first court date the Crown Attorney is going to provide typically your lawyer with the police reports, your wife’s statement and your statement, all of the occurrence reports. Now your lawyer is in a position to sit down with you review those and figure out number one what are my odds of winning this case? Do you want to go to trial? Are you innocent are you guilty? Are you somewhere in between? What is your version of events? The lawyer’s going to give you that opinion. It’s your decision though of course. If you decide to plead guilty, your lawyer’s job is to get you the best possible sense the lightest possible sentence for your circumstances. But let’s say you’re innocent, you’re you didn’t do this. You were defending yourself or it didn’t happen. Your wife has a motive to lie. Now you’ve given instructions, your lawyer I want to set a trial date.

The lawyer will then have what’s called a judicial pretrial. That’s simply a meeting with the judge and the Crown Attorney in the Judge’s office. They’re called chambers, where we discuss all aspects of the case to manage court time. Typically, the average domestic assault usually would finish in one day. So we’re talking about the number of witnesses, the judge will also canvass whether there’s any way of resolving this matter.  Will a peace bond be offered? Is it a weak Crown case? Is it a strong Crown case?  We try and hopefully get it withdrawn at that stage, but the crown may not do that. So now we set a trial date. We’re probably all about three to four months into remand court, which is the intake court in the Ontario Court of Justice. Now you’re setting a trial date, approximately four to 10 months from then. So we have your trial. Our job to try to win the trial create a reasonable doubt.

You may testify at that trial. Obviously, the Crown has to present their case and our job is to defend you to the best of our ability. So there you have it. There’s kind of the typical court process for a summary convictions offense of domestic assault.

Thank you for joining me today.

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