What does making an “election” mean?

>>>What does making an “election” mean?

interior of courtroom making an election

In criminal trials there are two types of election: the Crown Prosecutor’s election, and the defence’s election.

When an accused is charged with a hybrid offence, the Crown Prosecutor can elect to proceed by way of indictment and seek jail time in the event of conviction, or they can elect to proceed summarily. When the Crown proceeds by way of summary conviction, the matter will be heard before the provincial court and the defence will not have an election.

The defence makes an election when the Crown proceeds by indictment. In this instance the defence will be able to choose whether their matter will be heard before the provincial Court, or whether it will be heard before the superior court. Where the defence elects to have their trial heard before the superior court, they will also have the right to chose whether they would like the trial to be heard before a judge and a jury, or a judge alone.

Whether it would be more beneficial to proceed to trial with judge alone or with a judge and a jury will depend heavily on the unique circumstances of your case. For example, it may be favorable to proceed by judge alone in instances where the verdict turns on highly technical points of law that may be difficult for people without a legal background to grasp. However, there are great benefits to having a jury decide the outcome of a trial. Not only will a jury not be subject to the same individual biases that a single judge may have, but the Prosecutor will have to convince 12 people of the accused’s guilt, rather than just one. However, whether in your case it is more beneficial for you to proceed to trial with a judge and jury or with a judge alone is a decision that should be made in consultation with your criminal defence lawyer.

An exception to these customary choices in the mode of trial are for those offences that, according to the Criminal Code, are the most serious offences under Canadian criminal law. Among them are murder, treason, and terrorism offences. Unlike indictable offences where an accused has a right to be tried before a judge alone, these offences must be tried by a jury unless the Crown consents to a trial by judge alone.

For specific information regarding your claim, please select the location that’s closest to you.


Glowing Reviews From Our Clients

Excellent service! I would highly recommend going with this team. If I ever need assistance with anything of this manner again, I wouldn’t hesitate to call or email the team at Oykhman Criminal Defence again.



Everyone was very professional and understanding. They explained everything and put me at ease. Any question I had were answered right. If you need help I’d highly recommend this law firm.




Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.