I’m going to cover a very basic but important question that our clients have for us. What happens at a first court date? And that’s a that’s a valid question. There’s, there’s simple answers to it, but clients, many of our clients don’t understand the answer and we’ll you know, until we explain it to them. They don’t know the answer, I should say. Now, okay, so you’re charged with a criminal offence. Let’s say you’re charged with domestic assault today. Typically, the police are going to give you a court date three to six weeks from now, and a lot of clients they think that first court date is so important you know I’ve got to get ready for that, etc. Well, it’s not that important first court date. What happens in our criminal justice system is that first court date is just an opportunity for you to hire a lawyer and try and obtain a copy of the police reports, all the disclosure against you. And nothing of any significance happens at that first court date. In fact, they should get rid of the court dates as far as I concerned in our system. We could do this all electronically but it’s a bit of an archaic system we still have to appear. So what do we do as your lawyer? We have you sign a piece of paper called a designation which means your lawyer that gets filed with the court. And in essence no one even has to go to the first court date because it gets automatically put over for 12 weeks, but we don’t really trust that system, frankly, because there’s this corrupt so we always appear. The matter automatically goes over 12 weeks, and we’re expected to take all the necessary steps to try and move your file in expeditious way which includes reviewing the disclosure meeting with you, trying to meet with the Crown Attorney and see what next steps we should take in your file, whether we’re going to resolve it we’re move it towards trial. So a lot of clients, they want to attend that first great court date. They think it’s so important. Literally, it’s a 30 second court appearance, it’s just meaningless. The court just wants to know that they’ve retained a lawyer and the file’s moving forward. And even the fact that it goes over 12 weeks, which is automatic now under the new system we have post COVID. That if we if we actually resolve your file, we can move it forward with to deal with it within the 12 weeks, but oftentimes it takes at least 12 weeks to resolve any criminal file by the time we review disclosure, have multiple meetings with you negotiate with the crown and arrange a court date it’s often after 12 weeks in any event. So there you have it. Don’t go to your first court appearance unless of course you don’t hire a lawyer. It’s just really an opportunity for you to hire a lawyer. Let the courts know that you’re moving your file forward and then it’s up to your lawyer at you to sit down and figure out well, where is this headed? Is it heading to trial? Can we convince the crown withdraw the charge or are we going to resolve it for his light sentence as possible?

By Published On: August 5, 2023Last Updated: October 19, 2023Categories: General, Video

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