Last night, Justin Bieber aka ‘The Biebs’ turned himself into 52 Division along with Toronto counsel Seth Weinstein of Greenspan Humphrey Lavine.
Apparently, police had wanted to ‘chat’ with the Biebs about an alleged assault last December, but he had not made himself available. The police then ‘invited’ him to attend 52 Division, which he did.
Justin Bieber was then dutifully processed, and released with his first court attendance scheduled for 11 a.m. March 10, 2014 at Old City Hall.
What can the public expect of Justin Bieber’s progress through our justice system?
One can assume that with counsel Weinstein at his side last night, Bieber remained silent on the allegation against him. He would have had to provide some information to the police, such as his contact numbers and address, but other than this, Bieber had the right to remain silent and not answer police questions.
Justin Bieber can avoid attending future court appearances himself, save and except any potential trial that might be held, if he signs a Designation of Counsel, say Weinstein or his law firm, which is filed with the Court. Designations signify that the lawyer is fully retained and will operate on instructions from the client. The client must indicate in writing that they will stay in touch with counsel throughout the process.
Given the availability of this Designation option, it is highly unlikely that Justin Bieber will be attending his March 10 court appearance. The paparrazzi will simply have to make do following Seth Weinstein or his agent.
Generally an accused, the Biebs, is now an accused, will have several remand appearances during which ‘housekeeping’ matters will be taken care off. First, disclosure will be prepared by the police investigating, then vetted by staff at the courthouse, then provided in court to the accused or his agent, the lawyer. If any disclosure is said to be missing from the disclosure package, such as videos or photos, requests can be made for these. After all disclosure requests have been made, and either honoured or refused, the two sides, the Crown and the defence will discuss the allegations in a Crown pre-trial conference. These are important opportunities to discuss the strengths or weaknesses in the Crown’s case, and for the defence to negotiate for a winning outcome.
Should the two sides, agree to disagree, then a trial date will be set. If the trial is going to be protracted, then the two sides will meet with a Judge to map out the particulars of the case, and its length. Only after this Judicial pre-trial meeting, may a trial date be set.
Speedy justice can wrap up some cases up in a few days. I doubt that will happen in this Hollywood blockbuster case.
In the Biebs case, I bet the paparrazzi will be on the trail for at a minimum of six months. Should a trial date be set, the paparrazzi would finally get to see the Biebs again in an Old City Hall courtroom about a year or more from now.