What are motion filings in a criminal case?

In Canada, when dealing with a criminal case, folks often make formal requests to the court to sort out specific issues. These are called motion filings. You may need help from a lawyer like the criminal law attorney Toronto to help you through the process. Let’s look at what these motion filings involve and how they work.  

criminal case

1. Types of Motions

When it comes to these motion things in a Canadian criminal case, there are different kinds. Think of them as additional tools for other jobs. You’ve got motions for bail, to keep specific evidence out, to get information (that’s disclosure), and to pause the whole process (a stay of proceedings). Each of these motions has rules and steps you need to follow.

2. Notice of Motion

Now, let’s discuss the “Notice of Motion.” This is like a heads-up to everyone involved. The document says, “Hey, we’re going to court to discuss something on this date.” In this notice, you find out what the person wants from the court, why they’re asking, and when they will discuss it. It’s a way of keeping things fair and ensuring everyone knows what’s happening.

3. Motion Record

All right, now we’re getting into a bit more paperwork. A “Motion Record” is like a folder of papers that helps the person making the motion prove their point. It has stuff like written statements (those are affidavits), things to show the court (exhibits), and legal arguments. The person asking for the motion has to give this folder to everyone involved at least three days before they go to court. The other side then has about ten days to prepare their folder. It’s a paper battle before they go and talk to the judge.

4. Oral Argument

Now, picture this – sometimes, instead of just paperwork, there might be a chance for people to talk about the motion in front of the judge. It’s like explaining things out loud. But here’s the catch: it doesn’t always happen. An oral argument shall occur if the judge or even a Registrar says they need to discuss this particular issue. Usually, it’s all about the papers unless the court says otherwise.

5. Service and Filing

Now, let’s talk about the part where everyone gets official papers. All the documents related to the motion need to be shared with everyone involved – that’s called serving. They must also be handed over to the court – that’s filing. The exact way to do this depends on the type of motion and the court where it’s happening. It’s like ensuring everyone has the proper papers before going to the judge.

6. Consent

Here’s a twist – sometimes, the Crown, like the government’s legal team, might agree to a motion filed by the accused person. For instance, let’s say the accused person needs some legal help. They can file a letter with the Registrar explaining why they need help, saying they can’t afford it on their own, confirming that they asked but were turned down by a legal aid program, and telling the court who the lawyer willing to help is. If the Crown says, “Sure, go ahead,” the accused can proceed with their motion. It’s like getting a thumbs-up from the other side.


So, there you have it – the world of motion filings in a Canadian criminal case. It’s like a puzzle where different pieces fit together to seek fair and just outcomes. From different types of motions for specific tasks to giving everyone a heads-up with the Notice of Motion and diving into a paper battle with the Motion Record – each step plays a role.