Trial counsel in provincial court should obtain a certified copy of the charging document (information) from the court administration office for the following reasons:
- The draft charging document in the initial disclosure package may not reflect the final version that the officer swears in advance of the arraignment date;
- Trial counsel must assess any deficiencies in the charging document (for example, the information was not properly sworn);
- Trial counsel must be alert to any amendments that the Court may have made to the charging document subsequent to an accused’s arraignment; and
- The date the officer swore the charging document is important when assessing: 1) A client’s right to be tried within a reasonable time (the delay clock starts running when the information is sworn); and 2) Whether the charging document was sworn in time (Code s. 786(2) - a limitation period of six months for summary conviction matters, except with the agreement of the prosecutor and the accused).