Disclosure – What to Ask For

Don't be shy about disclosure. At worst, the prosecutor could refuse you and even then, he has to justify the refusal before the justice. Request what you think is necessary but be specific. Too often all you get is a copy of the original ticket in response to a disclosure request. That is unacceptable. At a minimum you want:

  • a full copy of the police officer’s notes;
  • any witness statements (the ones who will testify and the ones who were interviewed but will not be called to testify);
  • their contact information, criminal record and occupation;
  • certified copies of relevant documents such as by-laws (i.e. for community safety zones), Ministry of Transportation records (i.e. to prove licence suspensions or unauthorized plates);
  • any statement given by you to the police;
  • any other information in the Crown’s possession whether it incriminates or exonerates you.

It will be up to you to decide what is relevant as you know the facts of your case. But remember to approach it with an open mind and think strategically.

For example, it is almost always better not to mention by-laws in a disclosure request. If your charge relies heavily on the existence of a by-law (e.g. a community safety zone must have a by-law indicating when it is in effect) the prosecution may not provide it to you or submit it is as evidence at trial. You can argue improper disclosure at trial or wait until the prosecution has rested and state there is no evidence to prove the by-law.

If you specifically mention the by-law in your disclosure request, you will likely get it or remind them that they must file it in court. Requesting the by-law eliminates some very effective trial arguments you could have made.

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