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.
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