Does prosecution need to include witness testimony or statements as part of disclosure? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Does prosecution need to include witness testimony or statements as part of disclosure?

Relax

Well-known member
Does the prosecution need to notify me that they will be calling witnesses to the stand? In my disclosure request, I asked for (among other things):
- witness statements
- witness will say statements
- any statements made by the defendant
- copies of the original notes of such statements
- the names and address, occupation, and criminal record of the persons providing such information
- I also request that you advise me of any information, which is not being disclosed, and an explanation for such non-disclosure

I was only provided the officer's notes, which included the witnesses' names and phone numbers, and a summary of what one of the witnesses told her (but not the actual transcript).

Otherwise, there was no indication whether to expect to see these witnesses at the trial.
 

pfbmgd

Well-known member
Does the prosecution need to notify me that they will be calling witnesses to the stand? In my disclosure request, I asked for (among other things):
- witness statements
- witness will say statements
- any statements made by the defendant
- copies of the original notes of such statements
- the names and address, occupation, and criminal record of the persons providing such information
- I also request that you advise me of any information, which is not being disclosed, and an explanation for such non-disclosure

I was only provided the officer's notes, which included the witnesses' names and phone numbers, and a summary of what one of the witnesses told her (but not the actual transcript).

Otherwise, there was no indication whether to expect to see these witnesses at the trial.

They have to provide you with what ever evidence they will use in court against you . Plus all evidence they have collected .
 

hedo2002

Well-known member
Site Supporter
This is half true. ANYTHING the crown intends to present to the court as evidence must be turned over, BUT they are NOT required to disclose and "evidence" that they are not offering in court.

As for witness info, you are NOT entitled to their addresses, or criminal background, (you MAY, BUT only if the court deems it relevant), ask them, if they have any CRIMINAL convictions. It is highly unlikely the crown or the JP will permit that line of questioning as it bears NO relevance as to their ability to testify as to YOUR actions.. About the ONLY circumstance I can off the top of my head think where a criminal conviction may be germaine, is if the witness had been convicted of perjury, (which is HIGHLY unusual, there are likely less than 10 people per year even charged with that offence.

As for what a witness WILL say, The crown, will argue, (successfully), that they have NO idea what a witness MAY or may not say while testifying. UNLESS this is a SERIOUS CRIMINAL charge, it isn't like TV where the crown "Preps" the witnesses. It is TRAFFIC court. Also unless, it is a serious HTA charge, and the ONLY way for the crown to prove it's case is by having the witness(s) tesify, they likely won't even be subpoenaed, Rather the crown will rely upon the officer's testimony to prove it's case. That is WHY they are testifying. You will have an opportunity to question them, (but ONLY about what they state or what they wrote if a WRITTEN statement was given). If they only provided a verbal statement, that would be included in the officer's notes.

Certainly, IF a written statement was provided, then read it over, see if there are any GLARING, items wrong. They say the offence happened in July, when it was actually December. If they get small details incorrect, (Street names, or say it was in Etobicoke when it was in Toronto, The JP will rule that those are MINOR issues, As long as the officer has it correct. The court WILL rule, that witnesses, are permitted to make minor errors, The Officer WILL establish where the offence occurred, the court will only want to hear what a witness seen that lays out the "elements" of the offence.

As for defendant's statement, IF you provided one then it will likely be provided, although the crown can argue, (Unless they present it to the court as evidence), YOU should know what YOU said..lol

In reality, unless this is a SERIOUS CRIMINAL driving offence, Not just an HTA offence, you have to remember, it is a JP NOT a judge, and as such, the court will have VERY little tolerance for a defendant, who goes all "Perry Mason" in an attempt, to find a loophole.

Lastly, the crown is NOT obligated to disclose, ANY evidence that they are "relying upon", (presenting to the court as evidence of the "elements" of the crime. IE if the cruiser has a dash cam, (which didn't record the actual offence, IE the officer was called to the scene). Nor, is the crown, again if they are NOT relying upon such information), need to disclose why they are NOT presenting it, (unless of course it exonerates you), IE dash cam video shows you did NOT run a red light, as the cruiser was following you, and recorded, the colour of the light. Again keeping in mind this is TRAFFIC court, your likely charged with a MINOR HTA offence, your not being tried for 1st degree murder...lol

Hopefully, this assists you in your defence, But I am NOT a lawyer, Just an ex copper who likely testified thousands of times in court, (traffic, all the way up to appeals court.

Good luck

They have to provide you with what ever evidence they will use in court against you . Plus all evidence they have collected .
 

Relax

Well-known member
I had my trial and the prosecutor did call the two witnesses to come up, but they didn't show up. The officer was there, and since she arrived after the accident, the crown withdrew the charge on the grounds she had no case. I thought the prosecutor might go ahead with the trial and rely on the officer's testimony that the two witnesses both said I ran the red light, and that my defense would rely on whether the JP would sustain an objection to hearsay.

As happy as I am, I'm still curious how I could have prepared a defense for my case if one or both of the other two witnesses were able to testify, and nothing was disclosed to me in advance. I was completely innocent of the charge and if I had a dash cam it would have proved it. I have since bought one.
 

Evoex

Insert clever title here
Site Supporter
I had my trial and the prosecutor did call the two witnesses to come up, but they didn't show up. The officer was there, and since she arrived after the accident, the crown withdrew the charge on the grounds she had no case. I thought the prosecutor might go ahead with the trial and rely on the officer's testimony that the two witnesses both said I ran the red light, and that my defense would rely on whether the JP would sustain an objection to hearsay.

As happy as I am, I'm still curious how I could have prepared a defense for my case if one or both of the other two witnesses were able to testify, and nothing was disclosed to me in advance. I was completely innocent of the charge and if I had a dash cam it would have proved it. I have since bought one.
Lucky break.

The crown couldn't proceed without a witness to testify in court. Witness statements provided to police likely won't fly without the witness there to back it up. You have the right to face your accusers.

The police could likely only speak about what they actually knew; date, time, location, who was involved.
 

hedo2002

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I had my trial and the prosecutor did call the two witnesses to come up, but they didn't show up. The officer was there, and since she arrived after the accident, the crown withdrew the charge on the grounds she had no case. I thought the prosecutor might go ahead with the trial and rely on the officer's testimony that the two witnesses both said I ran the red light, and that my defense would rely on whether the JP would sustain an objection to hearsay.

As happy as I am, I'm still curious how I could have prepared a defense for my case if one or both of the other two witnesses were able to testify, and nothing was disclosed to me in advance. I was completely innocent of the charge and if I had a dash cam it would have proved it. I have since bought one.



Correct, any information provided to an officer, via a statement from a witness, is "hearsay evidence" and as such not admissible.

IF the accused provides a statement to an officer, the officer CAN testify as to what he/she were told, (of course in a CRIMINAL trial, the accused must have been read their Charter rights first, IF however the accused blurts out a statement, say as the officer is approaching the accused he/she says "I killed her" That IS permited.
Lucky break.

The crown couldn't proceed without a witness to testify in court. Witness statements provided to police likely won't fly without the witness there to back it up. You have the right to face your accusers.

The police could likely only speak about what they actually knew; date, time, location, who was involved.
The "right" to face your accuser, is an AMERICAN principle. However as stated above, the officer can not testify as to what he/she "were told"
 

kiwi

Well-known member
I was completely innocent of the charge and if I had a dash cam it would have proved it. I have since bought one.
Dash cams can be very helpful. I have them installed and recently updated them to include a rear view. I also check every so often that the footage records ok, and is legible.
 

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