Appearing in Ontario Criminal Remand Court

Appearing in Ontario Criminal Remand Court

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – “Remand Court” is a term that can cause confusion for those facing criminal charges. After all, it’s the first court appearance made by accused in any criminal case.

If you’ve been summoned to appear in Remand Court, it’s important to know what makes a remand court appearance different from a trial. Here are a few of the differences:

  1. 1.      Remand Court is not the place for pleas and sentencing.

The judge in a Remand Court will not hear your plea, and will not determine guilt. Rather, he or she is there to go over initial information with you or your lawyer, and then set an agenda for the case proceedings.

  1. 2.      You won’t be the only accused appearing at your remand court session.

When court convenes for a criminal trial, that particular sitting usually deals with just one case. Not so in a remand court. You will likely be one of many summoned individuals called to appear before the same remand court judge. Determining the order is done alphabetically. Here, there’s a benefit to having your own lawyer – the accused with lawyers are called up first, in alphabetical order by firm name. After that, clients representing themselves are called before the judge in alphabetical order by name.

  1. 3.      The Crown won’t actively prosecute you at Remand Court.

The Crown prosecutors assigned to your case will be represented at your Remand Court appearance, but they do not make any statements at this time. Instead, they submit to the defence a copy of the disclosure containing the evidence secured by the police.

  1. 4.      Remand Court almost always ends with an adjournment.

At any Remand Court in Ontario, it is customary for the Crown to request an adjournment, at which point the judge schedules a “second appearance” for the accused.

While your appearance in Remand Court is informal, and not similar to your criminal trial, hiring a criminal defence lawyer to accompany you is important. The Remand Court judge will want to discuss technical details quickly, and a criminal defence lawyer will know how to handle that discussion efficiently and professionally.

A defence lawyer can also appear for you, if you’re unable to make it to the Remand Court appearance yourself – make sure, however, that you’ve agreed upon this beforehand. If you are going to attend the appearance yourself, make sure you arrive on time wearing appropriate attire.

I usually have my clients sign a one-page Designation of Counsel form. This form is filed with the Remand Court and the client need not personally attend the Remand Court appearance.

If you’re preparing to make an appearance in remand court, hiring an experienced criminal defence lawyer can make the process smoother and less stressful – especially if your charges are serious. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

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