The Do’s and Dont’s of attending Court.
If you plan on attending Court, be prepared to spend the full day at Court, and book sufficient time off of work.
Just remember, that there are no time guarantees in Court.
ON any given day The Court could run out of time so, you may have to come back on a later date.
As result, your Charter Rights may or may not have violated under section 11(B) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
If your case, is postponed or delayed, you are welcome to contact us for a FREE consultation to learn more.
Lighthouse Legal Services receives a lot of questions about, “How early I should arrive at the Court?”
We suggest arriving 30 minutes in advance of your scheduled Court time, just in case you are delayed by traffic, or can’t find parking.
Plus, if you are meeting with a Lighthouse Legal representative/Paralegal (If you have hired us of course), they always prefer to speak to the Client just prior to proceedings starting in Court.
Another question we always get asked from unrepresented Defendants is, “Do they call the Court List in alphabetical order.”
The short answer is, “No”. The Prosecutor or Crown Attorney can call the Court Docket as they see fit. Generally, the quicker / simpler matters will go first, and Trials will be heard last.
So try to be patient, if you arrive early, you may also get out early depending on if you plead guilty vs. not guilty.
There are three A’s you should consider when attending Court. Attitude, Awareness, and Appearance.
If you go into Court with a poor attitude, or expect to be catered too, think again.
Traffic Court is not a Court of Convenience. While Court Staff will do their best to expedite your matters as quickly as they can, please do not expect to be catered to.
You need to attend on time, and be respectful to everyone that is in attendance in the Court building and Courtroom.
Awareness is another thing to consider. When you are in a Courtroom, do make sure your phone is turned off. Don’t bring a book inside with you to read. And don’t talk loudly with others in Court while sitting and observing other matters that are being heard by the Justice.
The presiding Justice may single you out for a few choice words if you are noisy and interrupt proceedings or start having casual conversations with those next to you. You could even find yourself charged with being in Contempt of Court.
The best way to act, is with respect and quietly.
Finally, make sure you are dressed appropriately for Court. Don’t dress for the beach or a costume party. It’s best not to wear flip flops, tanks tops or anything else that could be considered offensive or inappropriate.
Over the years, I have seen a number of Defendant’s get into trouble inside the Courtroom for issues that don’t even relate to their charges. Just consider that if you dress or act inappropriately, it could end up delaying your matter from proceeding or concluding.
So just remember, that if you do plan on attending a day in Court, keep the following in mind,
- Plan ahead, and make arrangements to be there all day
- Arrive early
- Be Patient
- There are no guarantees, as to when you matter will be dealt with
- Do not have a bad attitude, and try to stay positive
- Be aware you are in a Courtroom (When Court is in session – Turn off Cell Phones, No Reading, & No Talking – unless called upon)
- Dress Appropriately
If you are unsure about what to do, you can always contact us for a FREE consultation.