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A judicial pre-trial (also known as a JPT) is a closed door meeting between a Judge, the Crown attorney and your defence lawyer. During the JPT many facets of the case are discussed, including the facts of the case, the admissibility of evidence, the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and the length of trials, if necessary. Sometimes, the judge will also provide their opinion on the case, including the merits and what they would deem is an appropriate sentence. At the completion of the JPT the client has to choose between entering a plea of guilty or going to trial. An advantage of the judicial pre-trial process is that once a judge has accepted a position (which both the Crown and defence accept), a plea can be "safely" put before the judge without risk of the judge "jumping" it. Meaning, a judicial pre-trial position is a sure thing.

While not every case is appropriate for a judicial pre-trial, it is often a good middle step when a client is at a crossroads. For example, if a client has a case that is bordering on a conviction or an acquittal, the JPT process may provide an opinion that proverbially decides the issue, without risk to the client. Similarly, borderline cases can often result in favourable resolutions at the JPT stage, as the Crown would rather obtain a conviction with a reasonable sentence, than no conviction at all.

At Paul Lewandowski Criminal Law, we advocate for our clients to ensure the best outcome are attained. Knowing when a JPT is useful is part of this process.


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Paul Lewandowski Professional Corporation
200 Elgin St,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
K2P 1L5