INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
555(3) Where an accused is put to his election pursuant to subsection (2), the following provisions apply, namely, (a) if the accused elects to be tried by a judge without a jury or a court composed of a judge and jury or does not elect when put to his or her election, the provincial court judge shall continue the proceedings as a preliminary inquiry under Part XVIII and, if the provincial court judge orders the accused to stand trial, he or she shall endorse on the information a record of the election; and (b) if the accused elects to be tried by a provincial court judge, the provincial court judge shall endorse on the information a record of the election and continue with the trial.
Section 555(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the procedure to be followed when an accused person is put to their election regarding the mode of trial they wish to undertake. This decision is typically made in relation to an indictable offence that carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for five years or more. Subsection (a) of Section 555(3) outlines that if the accused elects to be tried by a judge alone or does not make an election, the court proceeding will continue as a preliminary inquiry. This is a process whereby the evidence is presented to a provincial court judge who will determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial to be held. If the judge determines that there is sufficient evidence, the accused will be ordered to stand trial and the election made by the accused will be recorded on the information. On the other hand, if the accused elects to be tried by a provincial court judge, subsection (b) of Section 555(3) requires that the election be recorded on the information and the trial to proceed. In this scenario, the accused is essentially waiving their right to a jury and instead, undergoing a trial where the judge decides the issue of guilt or innocence. Overall, Section 555(3) ensures that the mode of trial an accused person selects is properly recorded and that the court proceedings follow the appropriate trajectory based on the election made. It is an important provision in ensuring the fair and transparent administration of justice under Canadian law.
Section 555(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the election process for accused individuals and the corresponding procedures that follow. When the accused is put to the election process pursuant to subsection (2), they have the option to either be tried by a judge without a jury or a court composed of a judge and jury, to not elect, or to be tried by a provincial court judge. If the accused elects to be tried by a judge without a jury or a court composed of a judge and jury or does not elect when put to their election, the provincial court judge presiding over the case will continue the proceedings as a preliminary inquiry under Part XVIII. If the provincial court judge orders the accused to stand trial, they will endorse on the information a record of the election. On the other hand, if the accused elects to be tried by a provincial court judge, the provincial court judge will endorse on the information the record of the election and continue with the trial. The purpose of this section is to allow the accused to have a say in the type of trial they will face. A trial by jury may be more daunting for some accused individuals, as they will be facing a panel of their peers who will ultimately determine their guilt or innocence. A trial by judge alone may be less intimidating for some as they will only be facing a single decision-maker. This section also gives the provincial court judge discretion to order the accused to stand trial if they elect to be tried by a jury or court composed of a judge and jury. The preliminary inquiry process allows for both parties to present evidence and arguments to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. However, it is important to note that the election process can have major implications for the accused and their trial. The decision to proceed with a trial by jury or judge alone can impact the potential sentence they may receive if found guilty. For example, a jury trial may result in a higher sentence than a trial by judge alone, as the decision is being made by a panel of citizens who may feel strongly about the crime committed. In addition, if the accused elects to be tried by a judge alone and is subsequently found guilty, they do not have the right to appeal the decision based on the fact that they did not have the opportunity to have a jury make the decision. This can be a significant disadvantage if there are complex legal issues or the evidence presented is particularly challenging. Overall, while the election process under Section 555(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the accused a degree of control and choice in their trial, it is important for them to fully consider the implications of their decision and seek legal counsel to make an informed choice.
Section 555(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the options available to an accused person when they are put to an election on how they will be tried. The choices are to be tried by a judge alone or a judge and jury or to have a preliminary inquiry before the provincial court judge, which may lead to a trial. There are several strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada. The first strategic consideration is whether or not an accused person should elect to be tried by a judge alone or a judge and jury. If there is a chance that a jury may be sympathetic to the accused, then it may be wise to elect to be tried by a jury. Additionally, if the case is complex, and the accused is worried about legal technicalities, it may be better to be tried by a judge alone. However, if the accused is confident that the evidence is in their favour, then they may choose to be tried by a judge alone, who may be more likely to be impartial. The second strategic consideration is whether or not to have a preliminary inquiry. This is an important decision because it determines the strength of the Crown's case. A preliminary inquiry is an opportunity for the accused to hear the evidence presented against them and to test its reliability. However, if the Crown has a strong case, the preliminary inquiry may give them a preview of the defence that will be presented at trial. If the Crown recognizes that the defence has a good chance of succeeding at trial, they may be more likely to give the accused a plea bargain. On the other hand, if the Crown believes that the evidence against the accused is strong, they may use the preliminary inquiry as a way to weaken the defence's case. The third strategic consideration is whether or not to elect for a summary or indictable offence. Summary offences are less serious and carry lighter sentences, while indictable offences are more serious and carry heavier sentences. An accused person may choose to have their case tried summarily if they believe that they have a good chance of winning and want a lighter sentence in case they are convicted. However, it is important to note that an accused person can only be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail if they are tried summarily. The fourth strategic consideration is the potential impact of a jury trial versus a judge-alone trial. A trial by jury involves the participation of twelve individual jurors, each of whom brings a unique perspective and life experiences to the decision-making process. A trial by judge alone, in contrast, rests on the discretion of a single individual, and that judge may be more inclined to follow strict legal precedent and rules of evidence. Considerations such as the complexity of the case and how well the evidence is presented are important factors in deciding whether a trial by jury or by judge alone is more advantageous. In conclusion, there are several strategic considerations to take into account when dealing with section 555(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of both the Crown's case and their own, an accused person can make an informed decision about how they wish to proceed. They may also consider alternatives to a trial, such as plea bargaining or mediation, if these options are available. By taking a strategic approach to the legal proceedings, the accused can increase their chances of obtaining a favourable outcome.