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You may need to be in two places at once

Often, the police will schedule a fingerprint date for you on the same date as the first court appearance.  These appointments may require you to be somewhere other than the court which can leave you pressed for time to make it to court.  A lawyer can deal with the court but not the fingerprints so it is important to make sure that you make arrangements so you are not stuck between two required appointments.  We can help cover you and lead you in the right direction.

You probably don't need to go if you have a lawyer

A lawyer can appear for you if you sign a designation of counsel.  This is a simple form that allows a lawyer to attend for you so that you don't need to miss work or school.  It is one of the benefits of having a lawyer working for you.

It's not like in the movies

Unlike the American judicial system, you generally will not be arraigned (asked to plead guilty of not guilty, on the first appearance.  The first appearance is designed to allow the Crown Attorney to provide disclosure and to fix a date for you to review that paperwork with your lawyer.

Not much will happen

The first appearance is not about determining your guilt or innocence.  It is the first step on the road to determining this but not the last.  Until this appearance you will not likely have much of the information about the case against you.  

It is usually too early to change your release conditions

While you are likely anxious to change some of the bail conditions that are affecting you, usually your lawyer will need to review the disclosure to come up with a strategy to convince the Crown or Court to vary your recognizance or undertaking.

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5 Things to Know About Your First Court Appearance