Friday, October 29, 2010

Striking Guilty Pleas - R. v. Wright

The dump trucks are now going to have to get written instructions before they plea their clients guilty: In R. v. Wright 2010 CarswellOnt 8108 (Speyer J., October 25, 2010), the Ontario's Superior Court of Justice struck a guilty plea in the basis of the lack of written instructions, the timing of the plea took place at the last minute and the client appeared hesitant to plea: "Very rarely does a good lawyer ever allows a client to plea guilty without having written instructions" Justice Speyer said.

And this ruling makes sense, particularly where a client later alleges that s/he did not understand what the plea was to or the nature and/or consequences of the plea or that s/he was coerced or otherwise pressured to plea.

In light of all of these possible situations, it is preferrable to get instructions in writing. It takes five minutes but saves a lot of private and public costs that ensure when a guilty plea is struct and the matter has to return to the trial process.

This Application was argued by Selwyn Pieters.

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