Waiver of Time Periods

Courts examine whether you did anything to waive your right to be tried within a reasonable amount of time. They ask whether you made inquiries as to the status of your charge. Did you indicate to the Crown that you were ready and willing to proceed to trial immediately? The good news is that courts believe you must make a clear and unequivocal waiver of your rights. Your silence or inaction is not enough to count as a waiver. However courts may interpret your lack of action to expedite the trial as a sign of contentment with the pace with which things were preceding.

In Step 1 the odds of your case coming to trial were discussed. A reasonable argument could be made, given the number of charges that are dropped on an annual basis, that your inaction was indicative of a reasonable assumption that your case was also being dropped.

For jurisdictions with first attendance or charges under Part 3 of the Provincial Offences Act where you are in court anyway, your agreement to a trial date could indicate that you do not think the date infringes your rights under 11(b) of the Charter. That's why it is important to clearly state that you want an earlier trial date even if you don't get one. In Step 2 you were encouraged to send a letter to the prosecutor requesting an early trial date. Doing so will clearly show that you have not waived any of your rights and were actively monitoring the progress of your trial. This link will download a sample letter you can fax to the prosecutor’s office.

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