I’m here to talk about a situation where you’re charged with a criminal offense or impaired driving and the question is: “Do I have to attend court when I’m charged with a criminal offense or impaired driving?” In Ontario, we have a system called the designation system. When you retain a lawyer, obviously you’re in a great stress. You don’t really want to attend court too much. You’re working; you don’t want to be disrupting your life. The designation system means that you sign a form, it’s called a designation. You retain a lawyer and that lawyer files that designation with the justice of peace at your first court appearance. You don’t have to attend any of these remand appearances. Your lawyer goes for you. Your lawyer will help you through the system and get you the results you need with this designation system. This is a great benefit to people because they don’t want to be disrupted in their lives. The only time you have to attend court is when the court orders you to, for example, if you’re pleading guilty or you’re heading to your trial. All of the other many, many court appearances, the lawyer, for example, you hire our law firm, will be appearing for you and that’s a great benefit, the designation system in Ontario.

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