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Setting a date for preliminary hearing or trial

Region: Ontario Answer # 757

What is a set date?

If you have been charged with an offence, the police will give you a piece of paper that tells you when and where to be in court to set a date for your trial, or for your preliminary hearing. This is commonly referred to as your set date. If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.

If you plan to hire a lawyer, but have not hired one when you go to your set date, you should tell the judge that you are still trying to hire a lawyer. The judge will often give you extra time to find one, and order you to return on another day with your lawyer to set a date for trial or for a preliminary hearing.

Setting a date for a preliminary hearing or a trial

If you have been charged with a less serious offence, you will generally not be entitled to a preliminary hearing. As a result, you will simply set a date for your trial at your set date. If you have been charged with a serious offence, you will usually have a preliminary hearing first. A preliminary hearing can only be requested in cases where an adult is accused of a crime that is punishable by 14 years imprisonment or more, such as murder or aggravated assault.

A preliminary hearing is a court proceeding similar to a trial, where the Crown prosecutor has to convince the judge that there is enough evidence against you to require that you be ordered to stand trial. In most cases, a trial is ordered and scheduled for several months later.

Get Help

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a crime and need a criminal defence lawyer, contact our preferred criminal defence expert, Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyers.


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