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HOW TO GET DISCLOSURE

You simply cannot make an informed decision about your plea until you have reviewed all of the available crown disclosure.


The crown is obligated to disclose all of its case to you.


This would usually be provided by the police to the office of the crown prosecutor and will contain a brief summary of the facts alleged along with legal documents, statements of witnesses, police officer notes, etc. Frequently there will be audio or video media as well, (THE LAW).


The first thing you need to do is to contact the office of the crown attorney to request disclosure. I recommending calling the crown office and determining their fax number.


Your fax could be something like the sample letters, if the alleged offence occurred in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.


For Criminal Code matters or provincial statutes:


Sample disclosure letter to provincial prosecutor


For Federal matters, eg; Controlled Drugs & Substances Act, Excise Act, Income Tax,  or other federal statutes:


Sample disclosure letter to the federal prosecutor


IF MORE DISCLOSURE IS NEEDED


Once you organize the file, on a separate piece of paper make a note of what may not have been included in the package.


You should send an additional letter to the office of the prosecutor requesting further disclosure.


Again, for provincial matters:


Sample 2nd disclosure letter to provincial prosecutor



Again, for Federal matters:


Sample 2nd disclosure letter to  federal prosecutor



REQUEST COURT DIRECTIONS


If you are not getting timely cooperation from the prosecutor, you may apply directly to the court for a direction from the judge.  The following is a sample letter:


Sample Letter to Court for Directions on Disclosure


Only once you have completed the disclosure process can you make an informed decision on plea.







Jim O'Neil, LL.B.

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