What to Expect at an Early Resolution Meeting


For Unrepresented Individuals

If you’re attending an early resolution meeting without legal representation, here’s what you can expect:

  • Meeting with a Prosecutor: You’ll meet with a prosecutor or a member of the prosecution office. This is where you may receive disclosure, which includes information and evidence related to your case.
  • Resolution Offer: The prosecutor might offer a resolution, such as a fine reduction or removal of demerit points if you plead guilty or a reduction to a lesser offense. However, this meeting is not for discussing the specifics of your case, presenting a defense, or negotiating the offer. The process is straightforward, with no police officers or judges present.


For Represented Individuals

Having legal counsel, such as a lawyer or paralegal, changes the dynamics of the meeting:

  • Negotiation and Offers: Legal representatives can engage in more substantive discussions with the prosecutor, including negotiating fines or even achieving the withdrawal of the charge. This is possible because legal professionals can discuss the strengths of both the prosecution’s and the defense’s cases.
  • Credibility and Representation: The presence of legal counsel adds credibility to your case. Disclosing who represents you and their background (including accomplishments or experience) can significantly impact the negotiations, often leading to more favorable outcomes than if you were to represent yourself.


Key Takeaways

  • Early Resolution Meetings: This is an opportunity to settle your case before it goes to trial. The situation varies greatly depending on whether you’re represented or not.
  • Legal Representation: Being represented by counsel often leads to better negotiation outcomes, including the possibility of charge withdrawal or reduced penalties, thanks to the ability to discuss the case’s merits more openly.
  • Making an Informed Decision: Whether to seek legal representation for an early resolution meeting is an important decision. The potential benefits of having an experienced professional on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.


Video Transcription:

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.

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