Being charged with a criminal offence is a very stressful, challenging and confusing ordeal for anyone. To assist you in your general understanding of the process, we provide the following general information outlining the steps involved for most criminal cases.

Sometimes you are being investigated by the police, your employer, or, some other government organization and you have not yet been charged. It is difficult to know what to do and what your rights are – especially when your employment is on the line. Call us. We can help you develop the best strategy to deal with the complexities of potential criminal charges – we MAY even be able to prevent you from being charged in the first place. Learning your rights and obligations is the best way to avoid a catastrophe.

There are many more steps in the process in addition to those listed below, however, the steps listed below will provide you with a brief outline of the basic process:

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On arrest, an accused person has the right to consult with legal counsel of choice prior to making any statements to police. It is crucial that an accused person take advantage of the right to receive timely and effective advice on arrest. Ron Ellis Criminal Defence is available 24 hours per day to assist you in this regard.


Once arrested, an accused will either be released by police, or, detained in custody overnight. If detained, an accused will be brought before a Justice of the Peace within 24 hours. The accused may then either be released with the consent of the crown prosecutor, or, proceed to a bail hearing to determine whether the accused will be released.

First Appearance

Letter A Court is the gateway into the criminal justice system for those who are released from custody. Video Court is the equivalent court for those who are held in custody. Appearances in video court are by way of video link from a local corrections facility (usually the Elgin Middlessex Detention Centre – EMDC).

Trial and Resolution

Trials are expensive and uncertain. They also take time. From the date you are ready to set your case to trial there is often a 3-6 month wait for trial time. Sometimes a much longer wait is required. That is why – whether you are in custody, or out of custody – every effort should be made to resolve your case without having to go top trial. There are many forms of early resolution that do not result in a criminal conviction and/or criminal record. Talk to me and I can explain your options. In the event an agreeable resolution cannot be found, I will also be ready to set a date for trial and effectively advocate for you at trial.

Ron Ellis Law:

We're ready to take on your case.