If you have been charged with a crime, the best way to protect your rights is to consult with a criminal lawyer. Mehdi AU LLP has criminal lawyers on staff who would be happy to talk to you about your case.
Where Will A Criminal Trial Be Held
A general rule of thumb is that the criminal trial will take place in the court jurisdiction where the crime was alleged to have been committed, i.e.: if you committed a crime in Markham, the trial would likely take place at the Newmarket, York Region court. However, in some cases that may not be logistically possible, or it may be unfair to the accused, for reasons of a fair trial. In such cases the accused may take certain steps to move the trial to another venue.
Change Of Venue With Crown Consent
If the Crown and defence consent, both parties can submit to have charges moved to a difference venue. Often this will happen where there are multiple charges in multiple jurisdictions and it make sense to have them heard together, or in the case of a guilty plea.
Change Of Venue For Language Rights
Accused persons have the right to have their matter heard in either of Canada’s official languages (English or French). In some instances, there may not be the ability to conduct a trial in an official language in some jurisdictions. The Criminal Code at section 531, allows the court to transfer a case to another jurisdiction in the same province in order to accommodate a trial in the other official language.
Change of Venue on Application
If for some reason a matter could not be heard fairly in a certain jurisdiction by means of prejudice, negative publicity, etc. especially in a small community, your lawyer could apply to move the matter to a different jurisdiction. There are several requirements for this to happen;
- The crime must be an indictable offence
- The mode of trial is to be judge and jury
- It would not be possible for a fair trial to take place in the original jurisdiction
If all of those factors are present, your lawyer could apply to have the trial moved to a different courthouse, but a judge would ultimately decide.
If you are involved in the criminal courts, the best way to protect yourself is to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Mehdi Au LLP has lawyers on staff who accept both private and Legal Aid retainers.
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