If you have been charged with a criminal offence and you have to appear before the court to face charges, the police will give you a date for your first court appearance. Before you appear in court as an accused person or defendant, make sure to consult a good criminal lawyer and analyze your options. Your lawyer will help you understand how court proceedings work and what options you have to defend your situation. People who can’t afford to hire a lawyer can still get one through the legal aid program.
In most cases, an accused is appeared before the court situated in the community where the accused was arrested. If you’re in jail waiting for your first court appearance, the staff will make sure you get to your scheduled court date. If you’re unable to make your court date, you must have a very good reason. Your lawyer and court worker must know about this. When you arrive at court, report to the courtroom mentioned in your appearance notice.
Appearing In Court
It’s important to meet your lawyer before reporting to the courtroom. Taking into account the outcomes of similar cases and the evidence, your lawyer will help you understand your legal position. To make good decisions, you should listen to and follow your lawyer. However, make sure your lawyer is competent and has a proven track record.
If you decide that you should plead guilty, the court will then arrange a sentencing appearance where the judge will decide whether or not you should be released and determine the conditions of your release. If you decide otherwise, you’ll face a trial where the prosecutor has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the court decides to release you, make sure to observe strict adherence to the conditions of your release. You may have several pre-trial appearances or interim hearings before you go to trial. Here is some valuable information:
- Make sure your lawyer has your contact information
- Go to the court on the right date and time
- Don’t leave the court until you’re told to do so
- Be polite and respectful to the people in the courtroom
- Find the courthouse ahead of time
- Follow the courtroom rules
A community justice committee can handle your case if the charges are less serious. You might be able to avoid a criminal record but you must accept the responsibility of your actions. The committee decides what should be done to resolve the issue adequately and prevent it from happening again.
After pleading guilty or found guilty after a trial, the judge will determine the sentence. Your lawyer will tell you whether you have to meet the probation office or pay a fine or follow any other rules. Getting probation means you won’t have to go to jail but report to a probation officer and carry out other responsibilities. The job of a probation officer is to make sure you follow the court orders. For instance, if you’re legally bound to stay home at night, your probation officer will ensure your presence at due time.
About Slaferek Callihoo
At Slaferek Callihoo, we have been providing our clients with top-notch legal services for many years. As a proven team of criminal lawyers in Edmonton, we help bring swift resolutions to our clients’ legal problems. If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Edmonton, contact our office. Schedule a free consultation right now!