What to expect at an early resolution meeting. There are two ways of discussing this with you. One, from the standpoint of an unrepresented person, you would meet with a prosecutor or member of the prosecution office who would probably release things like the disclosure to you.

In some cases, they may present you with an offer to resolve the case, usually a reduction in the fine if you plead guilty or even a reduction to a lesser offense. What wouldn’t be happening at that time is a discussion about what happened. There would be no tabling of your potential defense, and there would be no meaningful dialogue as to changing whatever offer they presented. The offer is solid. In fact, the police officers are not there, there’s no judge, it’s an informal yet mandatory meeting and it’s very black and white.

For counsel, like lawyers and paralegals that arrive in those situations, there may be an offer created on the file. But usually, because we’re all officers of the court, we discuss things like the strength of the Crown’s case and the strength of the defense case. We’re in a position to openly negotiate, maybe reduce fines. Usually we’re in a position to achieve great results because of these meetings. In many cases, it can also result in the complete withdrawal of the charge once we disclose two things: who’s representing this particular person, and if they’re of any particular importance—meaning, are they accomplished, skilled, have they been here before, can they run a reasonable trial? That carries some credibility in those meetings, and that usually relaxes the negotiations, allowing the prosecutor and defense counsel to arrive at a result that the client is going to be satisfied with. And statistically, that result is often much better than anyone could achieve by representing themselves.