When Is My Trial?
As we explain the process of disputing tickets to clients, there is one question that always comes up: When is my trial?
The answer depends largely on where you were issued the ticket. The time period until the matter is set for trial is different in each courthouse. One reason for this is because the police in some regions hand out more tickets, or they conduct intensive enforcement for a period that creates a temporary backlog. The court backlog may be different depending on the resources that the Government allocates to any particular courthouse.
From what we can determine the goal is to try and schedule trials in a period less than 12 months from the alleged offence. The primary purpose for this is to avoid applications to have charges dismissed for undue delay. If the matter is more than 12 months old when it first gets to a hearing, there is the possibility of success on a Charter challenge for undue delay. So the trials are very rarely more than a year from the date of the incident.
In most cases the answer to the question “when is my trial” is that the trial will take place about 9 months from now. So it’s similar to having a baby – 9 months from the fun you need to address the consequences.
On average, taking into account the speedier courthouses and those with a heavier caseload, we have noticed that 8 months is about the soonest and 11 months away is on the outside. So don’t count on getting your matter thrown out for delay. Chances are your trial will be set 9 months from now.
Whenever is comes, we’ll be ready. Because we defend so many traffic tickets, particularly in the Lower Mainland, we deal directly with trial scheduling. Often, therefore, we know your trial date well in advance of the notice being mailed out. So we know the answer when clients ask us “when is my trial?”