Area of Law: Criminal Law
Answer # 757
Setting a date for preliminary hearing or trialRegion: Ontario Answer # 757
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 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.
If you have been ordered to attend at court, or if you have been charged with any criminal offence, contact one of our preferred criminal law experts:
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