Please read this entire FAQ carefully before contacting us. We worked hard on this, and believe this will answer most, if not all, of your questions. Thank you!
Why are things taking so long?
Courts are slow in the best of times, and COVID has certainly slowed things even more. Don’t worry, this is normal, and there’s nothing we can do to make things go quicker. In fact, this may turn into a legal argument — we will have to see and base it on a case by case basis.
What happens in the court process?
Your court case has two stages.
STAGE 1 is where you try to resolve things without a trial. Think of it as a negotiation or mediation phase. Even though this stage involves a courtroom and a judge, it is NOT a trial. Your initial court appearances will be in this stage. It is during this stage that we ask for all the evidence (i.e. disclosure) so that we can defend you properly. It is during this stage that we speak to the prosecutor, and possibly a judge, to try to resolve things. It is normal for STAGE 1 to have many court appearances. The majority of the time, we will keep adjourning the case, which basically means we will tell the judge that we’re still trying to resolve things with the prosecutor, and need more time. So the judge will keep giving us a new court date. Rinse and repeat.
STAGE 2 is a trial, and this rarely happens. If it does happen, it’s much later on. There’s a high chance that your case will be resolved in the first stage.
I’m going to use an analogy to better explain things to you. Imagine you are in school, and get into a fight with a classmate. The teacher tells you to work it out amongst yourselves. However, the teacher will keep checking in with you guys to make sure you’re making progress. This is very similar to STAGE 1. The classmate is the prosecutor, and the teacher is the judge. The teacher checking in with you and your classmate is like the judge checking in with you and the prosecutor to find out if things are progressing.
If you and your classmate decide that you haven’t made progress, then the teacher can take you guys to the principal’s office to have him/her decide the outcome for you guys. This is very similar to STAGE 2 – the trial. The principal is like the trial judge.
What happens at my first court appearance?
Nothing significant. No issues will be decided. This is not a trial. This is part of STAGE 1. The purpose of this appearance will be to say to the judge: “hello, we are pleading not guilty, let’s start the process of trying to resolve things without a trial.”
Do I need to attend court?
No. You do NOT need to attend court in any way unless we ask you to. If we do not ask you to attend, you can assume that you do not need to. As your representatives, we will attend for you. We won’t be letting you know beforehand that we are attending for you. You can assume we are.
It says you received my disclosure. I want to see it now.
We’ll let you know when we review it, and only then will we discuss it with you. We want to be sure we are valuing your time and our time by giving you the accurate information you need. Please do not rush this process as we want to make sure we review it properly.
Why haven’t you requested my disclosure/evidence yet? When will you request it?
In most cases, disclosure (i.e. evidence) is only available after your first court appearance. Practically speaking, and sometimes strategically too, we may wait until after this appearance to request it. If your first court appearance passed, and it still hasn’t been requested, give us a bit of time, and it will be requested.
Why haven’t you requested a crown pre-trial (i.e. a resolution meeting with the prosecutor) yet?
We need to receive and properly review your disclosure first.
It says you had a pre-trial. What happened?
We’ll be in touch with you to tell you about it. Hang on a bit longer — we may still be negotiating to get the best “deal” for you!
I want to change my undertaking or bail conditions.
If you want to change a condition, click HERE.
Am I allowed to leave the province or country?
It depends on your conditions. If you want to change them, click HERE.
I'm nervous about my case! Are you sure you're going to attend court? Do you have it in your calendar?
Yes, we will attend court, and yes we have it in our calendar. We understand that you feel anxious, but don’t worry – we have things under control. This is what we do all day, every day! We have your back and we are taking care of your matter FOR YOU.
Why are there so many court appearances? I want this done on the first date!
It takes time to collect all of the evidence (called disclosure), and meet with the prosecutor to try to resolve things. We want to make sure no stone is left unturned. It is a much better strategy to go slowly, than to rush things.
How long will this case take to be done?
Typically, it could take anywhere from six months to two years.
What are my chances of winning?
We won’t know until we review your disclosure. Based on what we learn, we will choose the best defences and strategies.
When will I get updates?
You will get weekly SMS text updates from us to your cell phone. If something in your case happened, like a court appearance or a meeting with a prosecutor, give us a few days to let you know what happened. For example, if you had a court appearance today, we’ll text you with an update within the next few days. Do not contact us on that day or the next day asking for an update. If you haven’t heard from us, please be patient.
I have some documents that I want to share with you. How do I do so?
You can share the documents by uploading them HERE. Do not email them or text them. You also don’t have to let us know that you received them or that you are sending them — we will get a notification.
I have a new address or phone number. What do I do?
Email us with the new information.
Still have questions?
Chat with us