Court Appearance Preparation
Being charged with a criminal offence is an emotional and often upsetting time of your life, but you must keep your legal interests in sight and try to remain as calm as possible. The Kitchener-based law office of Darwin R. Witmer Criminal Law can provide you with during this difficult time.
- Do not speak to anyone except a lawyer about the facts of your case. You absolutely must exercise your right to remain silent. This is not an easy task. You must decide right now not to say anything to anyone about your matter.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Try to recall as much detail about what happened the day you were charged. Your notes will be helpful to set out details while they are still fresh in your mind. Please label any notes “Confidential Instructions to My Lawyer”. Bring these notes to your first meeting with your lawyer.
- Your first court appearance is just that—a court appearance. It is not the trial. Witnesses are not there. Most criminal cases do not proceed on the first scheduled day. The first date is usually when you will get a screening form stating the crown’s position, along with disclosure, which includes a summary of the allegations, as well as any police and witness statements. It is most common for the first date to be adjourned to a new date in order for you to confirm your retainer with your lawyer and to review the disclosure. If you retain Darwin R. Witmer, he can appear in court for you so you can go to work.
- Once you are charged, you are before the court waiting for the outcome. Sometimes it can be painfully long before your case is resolved. During the time you are waiting for your case to be closed, you should be on your best behaviour. You should seek help for any issues that have been influencing you. Seek any counselling that you need. If you are found guilty, it will help to show that you are recognizing and dealing with any issues that you have.