section 803(4)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

If a prosecutor doesnt show up for an adjourned trial, the court may dismiss the case with or without costs.

SECTION WORDING

803(4) Where the prosecutor does not appear at the time and place appointed for the resumption of an adjourned trial, the summary conviction court may dismiss the information with or without costs.

EXPLANATION

Section 803(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the consequences that may occur when the prosecutor fails to appear at an adjourned trial. In summary conviction courts, which handle less serious criminal cases, the information provided by the prosecutor is used to establish the charges against the accused. If the prosecutor fails to appear at the appointed time and place for the resumption of the trial, the court has the authority to dismiss the information, with or without costs. The purpose of this section is to ensure that trials proceed in a timely manner and that individuals accused of crimes are not subjected to unnecessary delays. If the prosecutor fails to show up, it can cause significant delays that can negatively impact the accused's right to a timely trial. By granting the court the authority to dismiss the information, the system seeks to encourage prosecutors to prioritize their court appearances and to discourage delays that can undermine the integrity of the justice system. The decision to dismiss the information may have serious consequences for both the prosecutor and the accused. The prosecutor may face disciplinary action or criticism for their failure to appear, while the accused may see the charges against them dismissed entirely. The court has the discretion to impose costs on the prosecutor, depending on the circumstances of the case. This section serves as an important reminder of the importance of timely court appearances and the responsibility of both prosecutors and the court to ensure that justice is served swiftly and efficiently.

COMMENTARY

The Criminal Code of Canada governs the criminal justice system in Canada and provides a set of guidelines for the prosecution and punishment of criminal offences. Section 803(4) of the Criminal Code speaks to the issue of adjourned trials and the role of the prosecutor in such cases. An adjourned trial is one in which the trial proceedings are temporarily suspended or postponed to a later date. This might happen, for example, if new evidence comes to light that needs to be reviewed or if one of the parties involved needs more time to prepare their case. In such situations, it is common for the court to set a new date for the trial to resume. Section 803(4) of the Criminal Code states that if the prosecutor (i.e. the person responsible for bringing the case against the accused) does not appear at the designated time and place for the resumption of an adjourned trial, the summary conviction court may choose to dismiss the case. This dismissal can be with or without costs, meaning that the court may require the prosecutor to pay all or some of the costs associated with the failed trial. This provision of the Criminal Code is important because it helps to ensure that trials proceed in a timely and efficient manner. If the prosecutor fails to appear at the scheduled time and place, it can cause delays and inconvenience for all parties involved, including the accused, witnesses, and court staff. By allowing the court to dismiss the case in such instances, it sends a message that professional conduct is expected from all actors in the criminal justice system. However, it is important to note that the court has some discretion in whether to dismiss the case or not. The use of the word "may" in the provision implies that the court has some discretion in the matter. This allows for situations where the prosecutor may have a valid reason for not appearing, such as illness or a family emergency. In such cases, the court may choose not to dismiss the case and instead reschedule the trial for a later date. In summary, section 803(4) of the Criminal Code provides an important safeguard to ensure that trials proceed in a timely and efficient manner. By allowing courts to dismiss cases when prosecutors fail to appear at the designated time and place for resuming adjourned trials, it sends a message that professional conduct is expected from all parties involved in the criminal justice system. However, the provision also recognizes that there may be valid reasons for non-appearance by the prosecutor, and therefore allows the court some discretion in deciding whether to dismiss the case or not.

STRATEGY

Section 803(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a powerful tool for defendants in summary conviction trials. In the event that the prosecutor fails to appear at the resumption of an adjourned trial, the summary conviction court is given the authority to dismiss the information with or without costs. This provision can have a significant impact on the outcome of a case, especially if the prosecution's case is weak or if there are other factors that support a dismissal. There are several strategic considerations that defendants should keep in mind when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. The first consideration is timing. In order to take advantage of this provision, the defendant must be prepared to proceed with the trial even if the prosecution is not present. This means that the defendant must be ready to present their case, and must have all relevant witnesses and evidence available. Additionally, the defendant must be aware of any deadlines or timelines that are involved in their case, and must be prepared to act quickly in the event that the prosecution fails to appear. Another strategic consideration is communication with the court. If the prosecution fails to appear, the defendant should immediately inform the court of this fact. This can be done through a written motion or by appearing in person. The defendant should also provide the court with any relevant evidence or documentation that supports their claim that the prosecution has failed to appear. By keeping the court informed and engaged, the defendant can increase their chances of success and ensure that their case is given serious consideration. A third strategic consideration is preparation. In order to successfully argue for a dismissal under section 803(4), the defendant must be able to demonstrate that the prosecution has failed to appear. This may require the defendant to conduct research, interview witnesses, and collect evidence. By being well prepared and organized, the defendant can present their case in a clear and compelling way, making it more likely that the court will rule in their favor. There are several strategies that can be employed to increase the likelihood of success when seeking a dismissal under section 803(4). One strategy is to seek legal advice and representation. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout the process, and can help the defendant to navigate the legal system. Another strategy is to be proactive. By staying on top of deadlines, gathering evidence, and communicating with the court, the defendant can demonstrate their diligence and dedication, which can increase their credibility and improve their chances of success. In conclusion, section 803(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada can be a powerful tool for defendants in summary conviction trials. However, in order to take advantage of this provision, defendants must be prepared to proceed with their case even if the prosecution is not present. They must also be well prepared and organized, and must communicate effectively with the court. By following these strategic considerations and employing effective strategies, defendants can increase their chances of success and obtain a favorable outcome in their case.