Guilty Plea Checklist

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Checklist

See also: Precedents, Court Forms and Checklists
UNDERSTAND WAIVED RIGHTS
  • Waiver of right to a trial, including a jury trial for indictable offences
  • Waiver of the presumption of innocence
  • Waiver of the Crown burden to prove the essential elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Waiver of right to challenge procedure, including all procedural Charter rights
  • Waiver of all rights of appeal, except appeal of the sentence
  • Limited waiver of the right to bail
RETAINED RIGHTS
  • Right to dispute the facts as they are alleged outside of bare essential elements of proof
  • Right to dispute penalties advanced by the Crown
  • Personal right to review full disclosure (ie. all relevant materials)
  • Right to address the judge before sentence is passed
  • Right to apply for a Pardon (select offences)
ANALYSIS OF CASE WITH CLIENT BEFORE ENTERING PLEA
  • Opportunity to review all relevant materials
  • Explain of essential elements of the offence
  • Aware of all defences that have an “air of reality”
  • Review Agreed Statement of Fact (if any)
  • Discuss Merits of the Crown and Defence cases
  • sufficient time to review the evidence, elements of proof and defences
INFORM CLIENT BEFORE ENTERING PLEA
  • Aware that judge has final say on sentence, including ancillary orders, etc.
  • The plea must be voluntary (not oppressive or coerced)
  • The plea must be unconditional and unequivocal
  • Position of the Crown on penalty (if known)
  • Procedure for Guilty Plea, including inquiry from judge under s. 606(1.1)
DIRECT CONSEQUENCES OF SENTENCING
  • Crown right to seek revocation of bail upon finding of guilt
  • Maximum penalty for each count and possibility of consecutive penalties per count
  • Available and unavailable sentencing options (e.g. discharges or conditional sentence orders)
  • Maximum and minimum penalties for the offences
  • Expected ranges
  • Potential Ancillary Orders including:
    • Weapons Prohibition
    • Section 161 Order
    • Driving Prohibition
    • Forfeiture of property seized
    • SOIRA Sex Offender Registry
    • DNA Order
    • Victim Fine Surcharge
    • Restitution, as part of probation or as “stand-alone”
    • Fine-in-Lieu of Forfeiture including penalties in default
  • Also discuss the duration of the order and the ability to terminate the order early.
  • The possibility of Crown seeking a Long-Term Offender Order or a Dangerous Offender Order
OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF GUILTY PLEA
  • Potential of movement of offender between jails or even out of province in federal penitentiary
  • Immigration consequences, including deportation upon completion of term of custody
  • Provincial Motor Vehicle Act consequences and effect on insurance premiums
  • Provincial Sex Offender registry
  • Restrictions on international travel
  • Impact family court proceedings (custody and access to children; apprehension of children)
  • Impact on civil lawsuit proceedings
  • Impact on employment, including professional licensing
  • Impact on education program eligibility
  • Effect on retention of youth criminal record

See Also