The length of procedures for charges of shoplifting in the Montreal Muncipal Court can vary. The following are some of the steps individuals charged with shoplifting have to go through:
1) The police gives or mails the person a document summoning them to fingerprinting and a Court date. Fingerprinting and the appearance in Court should take place no later than a few weeks following arrest for shoplifting.
2) After first appearing in Court, if the defendant pleaded not guilty, the case can last from two months to approximately one year. This depends on the choices made by the defendant and their lawyer: there may be an alternative case settlement (participation in a community program and plea bargaining, etc.) or they may choose a trial to challenge the charge.
3) Remember there are several strategic reasons involved in deciding to plead guilty or not guilty when first appearing in Court. Just because the defendant admits having committed the shoplifting offence does not mean he necessarily has to plead guilty on the Court date. A good strategy can have an important impact on the sentence in case of a conviction verdict.