Everything To Know About Your Crown Pre-Trial

If you’re facing an upcoming trial, you’re likely dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, questions, and uncertainty. The legal process can be daunting and complex, and understanding the various stages of a trial can go a long way in alleviating some of the anxiety you might be feeling. This blog will provide an overview of the critical steps in the Ontario criminal trial process by covering the Crown pre-trial, bail hearings, and the role of a surety. 

The Initial Stages: Understanding Your Crown Pre-Trial 

The Crown pre-trial is a critical stage in the criminal justice process. It’s a meeting between the defense lawyer and the Crown prosecutor to discuss the case. The pre-trial allows both sides to clarify issues, explore possible resolutions, and prepare for the trial if necessary. In Ontario, your pre-trial can significantly influence the course of a case, making it an essential step to understand. 

During the Crown pre-trial, the defense can gain valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case. This information can guide the defense strategy, influence plea negotiations, and impact trial preparation. It’s a unique opportunity to get a sense of the case from the prosecutor’s perspective, which can be invaluable in planning an effective defense. 

Understanding the purpose and significance of the pre-trial can provide you with a clearer sense of direction as you navigate the early stages of the criminal justice process. 

Navigating a Bail Hearing/Show Cause 

Another vital step in the process is the bail hearing, also known as a show cause hearing. This hearing determines whether you will be released or held in custody until your trial. In other words, it’s the court’s way of ensuring that you will appear for your trial and that the public is protected. 

During a bail hearing or show cause, the judge or justice of the peace will consider several factors, such as the seriousness of the charges, your criminal record, and your ties to the community. The Crown prosecutor will often argue that you should be held in custody. In contrast, your defense lawyer will present reasons why you should be released. 

Understanding the importance and potential implications of a bail hearing/show cause can help you prepare for it effectively. With a good understanding of the process and an experienced lawyer at your side, you can make a persuasive case for your release. 

Changing Your Surety in Ontario: A Comprehensive Guide 

In many cases, as part of the conditions for release on bail, the court will require a surety. A surety agrees to supervise you while you’re out on bail and ensure you follow your bail conditions. 

But what happens if your surety is no longer able or willing to fulfil their role? In Ontario, you have the option to apply to change your surety. This process involves applying to the court and presenting a new person who is willing and able to act as a surety. The court will then consider whether the proposed surety is suitable. 

Understanding the role of a surety, and knowing how to change your surety if necessary, is an important part of navigating the pre-trial process. However, this process can be complex, so it’s highly recommended to consult with a lawyer to ensure you follow the proper procedures and increase the likelihood of a successful application. 

Demystifying the Criminal Trial Process in Ontario

Once the initial stages are over, and if a resolution hasn’t been reached, the case will proceed to trial. The criminal trial process in Ontario can seem overwhelming, but with a bit of insight, it can be easier to understand. 

The trial process begins with the arraignment, where you’ll enter a guilty or not guilty plea. The Crown prosecutor will then present their case, offering evidence and calling witnesses to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Following the prosecution, it’s the defense’s turn. Your lawyer will challenge the Crown’s evidence, present evidence in your defence if appropriate, and may call witnesses. The Crown then has the opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses. 

After both sides have presented their cases, they will each make their closing arguments. Then, it’s in the hands of the judge or jury to deliberate and render a verdict. 

Understanding each step in this process is important, as each can significantly influence the trial’s outcome. Your lawyer can guide you through these steps, providing the expertise necessary to navigate this complex process. 

Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae: Your Ally in the Trial Proces

Navigating a criminal trial can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae is a leading law firm in Ontario that specializes in criminal defense. Our team of experienced lawyers has a deep understanding of the criminal trial process and can provide the legal support you need. 

Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae can guide you through each step from the pre-trial to the final verdict. They’re committed to defending your rights, advocating on your behalf, and providing you with the knowledgeable representation you deserve. 


Understanding the trial process can give you a sense of control over a challenging situation. From the pre-trial and bail hearing to understanding the role of a surety and the steps of a criminal trial, each stage is a piece of the puzzle that leads to the final verdict. 

Remember, while this blog post provides an overview, it can’t replace the advice and representation of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. If you’re facing an upcoming trial, consider reaching out to the legal professionals at Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae. They’re ready to stand by your side, offering their expertise every step of the way.


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