Step 3 ContentsPreparationThink differentlyLook aroundWeatherWhat's the chargeProvincial offencesFind the ActLook for precedents

Look for Precedents

Others have gone before you. Some of them were very successful. Research legal precedents to find similar cases to yours. The best places to look for them are:

  • CanLII publishes Canadian law on the internet for free. Use their search engine and type in your charge. It will produce all the relevant cases and show you the successful and unsuccessful arguments. Don't stick to just Ontario. Precedents in other provinces may apply to you.
  • Other online resources include:
  • Law school libraries will offer free access to members of the public where you can look up legal texts. Ontario has six law schools:
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada (which regulates Ontario lawyers) also has a library.
  • The two largest law publishers in Canada are Carswell and Canada Law book. Note that they charge for their information.
  • The most popular paid online search used by lawyers is Quick Law.
  • You can also check out law firms and legal aid clinics. Sometimes you can negotiate a peek at their collections.
  • Your local library will have some information on how to fight your ticket. Do a search to see what resources they have. But this should be your worst case option because their resources will be limited.

Defendant's Guide

Finally, many years after this website was created, Ontario's court system decided that they should also provide a guide for defendants. This basic guide does not include tips, tricks, and strategies like this website. However it will give you a very brief general description of the court process. You can view the guide here.

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