I apologize if the question is a bit vague but I was hoping a general answer might help people in the future.
My wife and I were recently charged in a municipal case that involved a co-owned property (in this case, an animal, and as much as I love my pets I expect these rules should apply to non-living items as well). The statement of offence, however, only named my wife in the case, so I was prohibited from being involved. She asked the prosecuting attorney if I could be considered a co-defendant and was told this was not allowed.
I'm concerned she may have been misled by the prosecutor (we are not lawyers) and if maybe we should have waited to specifically ask the judge at the trial. I would have preferred to be able to make some of our case directly, or at the very least be in the room so we can confer notes.
A specific answer would be appreciated, but a general sense of how this should work (or how one should approach it) would also be great.