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Criminal & DUI Lawyers, including:
Three Former Crown Prosecutors

Do I Have To Attend Court If I Have Lawyer

I want to talk to you today about a document when you retain a lawyer called designation of counsel. When you retain our law firm or any other law firm you’re going to sign a document called a designation. What that means and this is pursuant to section 650.1 of the Criminal Code, what that means is you do not have to attend any of the remand appearances. Your lawyer will go for you. So that document will be filed for your lawyer at the first appearance. They’re your lawyer. The court doesn’t want you in court. It’ll be too busy. There will literally be hundreds of accused’s there.  Clients often ask us “shouldn’t I go, does it look bad?” No they don’t want you there. They brought the designation of counsel document many years ago to clear up the problem of overcrowding court rooms in remand court. So we say to the client please do not go. They don’t want you there. We will be there for you at every step of the way.

The only time you have to attend court is a) if you decide to resolve the case for example by pleading guilty. Of course you have to be present at your trial but there’s going to be many, many court appearances which you don’t have to attend. The only other time you might have to attend is occasionally a Judge will insist that an accused is present for particular reasons but those are very extenuating circumstances. So that’s one of the benefits of retaining a lawyer among many that you don’t have to attend court and you’re not going to be inconvenienced through five, six, ten court appearances perhaps other than your trial or your plea.

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