The following constitutes general principles only and not legal advice. Every situation is different. You should consult a lawyer, and you should not obtain legal advice from a website.
First and foremost, remain calm. We understand that this is easier said than done in a situation like this however it is important to collect your thoughts and emotions and stay as calm as possible. We advise that you insist on calling a lawyer and do NOT, under any circumstances, answer any questions. The police may tell you that providing a statement will help your case, but this is not true. You could be persuaded into making a statement that is not in your best interest. No matter what is said or promised to you do not, under any circumstances answer any questions or provide them with a statement. Instead, insist on calling a family member or lawyer immediately.
Once you make the decision to retain one of our experienced lawyers, we will start work immediately on your case. The first step is to review and evaluate your case. To do this, we will ask you to come in for a meeting where we will ask you questions surrounding your case. We will also review any particulars you may have at that point in time. We will then contact the Crown Prosecutor handling your case to ascertain their position.
We hear this all the time and the answer is quite straight forward. If you are accused of a crime or violation, it is always in your best interest to retain a lawyer. It is important that you have a lawyer by your side to protect your rights. Don’t risk your future by not retaining a lawyer. The lawyers at Smith Alliance have the experience necessary to provide you with the best possible outcome.
We will assess your case and discuss the pros and cons of the various options available to you, including our lawyers negotiating with the Crown to seek a reduced charge or a no-charge/no criminal record outcome all the way to proceeding to trial for your case, so that you can decide the direction that you wish to take for your case.
Every case is unique and therefore we cannot give you an exact time frame for your case. Times can differ depending on the details of each case. The court’s schedule, for example, can also be a factor in how long it takes for your case to be resolved. We try to accomplish a resolution for your case as quickly as possible however, as with most things in life, there are many factors that affect the time required for any particular case.
Your first appearance in court is not your trial date and should be relatively straightforward and short. You will be required to stand in front of a judge, and if you have your lawyer with you, you will not need to say or do anything. Your lawyer will speak on your behalf. If you do not yet have a lawyer at this point, the judge will ask you if you intend on hiring one or applying for legal aid. The matter most likely then be put off for several weeks. During your first court appearance, it is important to ask for a copy of your “particulars”, which will expand upon the details of the case against you. You should bring these “particulars” to your first meeting with your new lawyer as this will give him or her a better understanding about the details of the case and also allow him or her to determine a length of time required for a trial. If you are applying for legal aid, you should also bring these “particulars” with you as the person processing your application may require some additional information before the application can be processed.
Showing up prepared to your meeting with your lawyer is always a good idea. it will allow you get the questions you may have answered and put you in a position to answer any questions your lawyer may have for you. You should bring with you all documents that are relevant to your situation (these include any documents you have received from the police or the prosecutor as well as any photos or other documents you may have). It is advised that you complete a written chronology (or diary) or timelines and events as well as your involvement in the matter. Make sure to label any documents written by you by clearly marking at the top, “FOR MY LAWYER, CONFIDENTIAL”. We advise that you do not discuss your case, or share your documents with anyone until you have met with your lawyer.
Disclaimer: Please note that this website provides general legal information only and nothing within it should be considered to be legal advice. You should consult a lawyer to obtain legal advice about your particular legal matter. No solicitor/client relationship is created by using this site.