Preliminary Inquiries

Preliminary Inquiries

What are Preliminary Inquiries and what is the Procedure?

Preliminary inquiries are held before trial to determine if there is enough evidence to try the accused. Note these inquiries are only held in cases involving indictable offences. The accused or the prosecutor can request a preliminary inquiry after the judge reads the election address pursuant to Section 536. Note where there are multiple accused persons, any of the accused can request a preliminary hearing and the request will be binding to the other parties.

During the preliminary inquiry, the accused is required to be present, as is their lawyer. Also present will be the judge and the Crown. The burden of proof in a preliminary inquiry is the same as in a directed verdict or a motion for non-suit.

Preliminary Inquiry Procedure

1. Once you have requested a preliminary inquiry, you will then, within the timelines defined by the rules of the court or the justice in the absence of such rules, give the court and the opposing party a statement identifying the issues you want to give evidence on at the inquiry and the witnesses that you want to hear at the inquiry.

2. You will present the orders you want given, the most popular of these being publication bans preventing the media from reporting on the proceedings of the hearing, public bans excluding the public from the hearings, witness exclusions preventing witnesses from being present when they are not on the stand, absence orders if, under certain circumstances, you will not make it to the proceedings, and counsel table, allowing you to sit at the counsel table. Also discussed are publication bans on such matters as the complainant’s identity, witnesses’ identify, and evidence of preliminary inquiry.

3. The side that requested for a preliminary inquiry can call witnesses to give testimonies while the Crown can also submit recordings and statements. The other party has a right to cross-examine the witnesses in chief.

4. Both sides will have an opportunity to make submissions to the court after the witness examinations and cross-examinations.

5. The judge will then make a ruling. The outcome with be the dismissal of the case in its entirety or the accused being committed to stand trial.

Why you need a Lawyer for your Preliminary Inquiry

It is not always wise to present a defence case at the preliminary hearing since the Crown will have a glimpse of your strategy to your detriment. At Costa Law Firm, we will come up with a winning strategy and do everything it takes to mask it from the Crown.

A lawyer understands the importance of preliminary inquiries. Note that if you do not request a preliminary inquiry, the court will assume you have waived your right to a preliminary hearing (Section 536(4.3), which could have devastating consequences on your defense strategy.

Hiring a lawyer for a trial offers convenience, allowing you to continue with life as best as you can, and you will have peace of mind knowing a professional is on the job.

Call us today at (416) 535-6329 or email us at info@costalawfirm.ca.

Evelyn Burnette
Evelyn Burnette
06:08 12 Mar 18
We have a family business and one day we found ourselves in a legal situation in which we felt completely overwhelmed and helpless. We quickly realized there’s a whole different world out there that we know nothing about. Reached out to David and he quickly wrapped himself around our case. We know he was working around the clock. In a matter of days, we had a solid argument. He is sharp, candid and a true professional. Not sure how an attorney can help a client ANY better. Absolutely no hesitation recommending him.
Julia Austerlitz
Julia Austerlitz
00:15 10 Mar 18
When I was looking for a divorce lawyer, the most important thing to me was finding someone who would be easy to communicate with. I was anticipating a nasty custody battle and the last thing I wanted was a lawyer who was hard to get a hold of or who didn’t make me feel like my case was a priority. David Costa and Robin Mann were exactly what I was looking for. They responded quickly to all of my emails, took all of my concerns very seriously and above all, is very knowledgeable about family law. This was such a difficult phase of my life and they helped me to get through to the end of it with the best possible outcome. I highly recommend this law firm.
Ben Valencia
Ben Valencia
12:47 09 Mar 18
Mr. Costa and his wonderful assistant couldn't have been anymore professional. It's unfortunate I had to meet them under these circumstances but I wouldn't have chosen anyone different to represent me if I could. They’ve always kept me up to date on things I needed to get done and both were available when I had questions. They are first class in my book.
Daniel Hardison
Daniel Hardison
06:56 09 Mar 18
Have utilized David's services several times over the last five years. He always is quick to respond (even when he was on vacation), knows the real estate business inside out. His expertise always gives me the confidence the deal is done right.
Kate Miller
Kate Miller
20:08 13 Dec 17
Costa Law were a tremendous help in solving my legal issues. David and his team were professional, efficient, thorough and compassionate. Everyone involved capably assisted me in understanding the issues and the possible outcomes. I could not be happier with the results and would encourage anyone needing legal help to contact them. Best law group in the town. Thanks to everyone at Costa Law!!!
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