What is a Judicial Pre-Trial?
A judicial pre-trial is very similar to a crown pre-trial. The biggest difference is that a judicial pre-trial (JPT) is held in front of a judge in chambers or in a closed court. A closed court means only the crown and defence representatives can attend the pre-trial.
Other members of the public are only allowed to attend if their presence is approved by a judge. However, if you are self-represented, the JPT will be conducted in an open court.
It is also important to note that completing a crown pre-trial first is mandatory before asking for a judicial pre-trial. If a case cannot be solved between defence and crown, that is when a JPT may be required.
The Benefits of a Judicial Pre-trial
A JPT is beneficial as the judge can help resolve the matter in a more effective and narrow manner. A JPT can also help crown and defence reach agreements. For example, if a crown attorney is being unreasonable in moving forward with a particular resolution, a JPT may be helpful in convincing them to proceed with that certain resolution.
Judges also help as they make the trial shorter by reducing the number of issues that arise or help with the complexity of the issues. If any counsel believes that the case may use up a lot of court resources or time, a JPT may be required.
Other Reasons to ask for a Judicial Pre-trial
It is also possible to have a JPT if you are missing disclosure or want to encourage plea negotiations. However, if your case cannot be solved through a JPT, then it will move towards a trial.
Your Options for a Judicial Pre-trial
There are several options available to you after a JPT, including:
- Adjourn/postpone your case to a later date.
- Set a date for your trial if the Crown is handling your case.
- Enter a guilty plea with the judge that was at your JPT.
- If you have decided to adjourn your case, you will have more time to think about what steps you can take next, such as talking to a lawyer or seeking guidance in your case.
If you do not have all of your disclosure, it might be recommended or considered a good idea to adjourn your case until the Crown gives it to you. It is always a good idea to wait until you have all the information you need before important decisions about the case are being made.
Sondhi Defence is here to help with any criminal defence situation. We have the advice and guidance you need to get the best possible outcome. Call us today to speak with one of our legal experts and get the help you need.