What’s Next – Start Your Defence Immediately
If you are reading this, you have already taken the first steps to defend your case. Because each case is fact specific, it is important to get legal advice on what you need to do in your particular case. There are, however, a few general things you should do as soon as possible:
- Write down in detail, and preferably in chronological order, what happened. There should typically be three main aspects to your statement. Focus on the circumstances leading up to the incident, what actually took place during the incident, and what has happened since the incident. Use maps and diagrams where applicable. Make sure you put a date on the statement;
- Ask any witnesses who have any bearing on the case to write down their version of events;
- Keep an ongoing journal of any dealings associated with your case so you can update your lawyer accordingly;
- Collect and maintain all documents issued to you by the police, the courts, or anyone else associated with your case;
- Take pictures of anything relevant to the case, whether it’s pictures of the scene, specific items, or yourself; and
- Start thinking about collecting information and documentation that casts you in a positive light, including any accomplishments in school, work, and your community.
Although at first this list might seem overwhelming, remember that this is all meant to help you. A big part of the stress of being charged with an offence is feeling like there is always something you need to do, and stressing out because you delay doing it. You can relieve much of that stress by doing the initial ground work.
Once you retain one of our criminal lawyers and provide us with the initial information, we will send you a letter advising that we are retained. We will be attending court for you and dealing with the Judge, the Crown Prosecutor, and the Police. It is important to note that the first court date is generally a procedural appearance. That is, nothing substantive happens that day. There may be several such appearances. We will attend as many of such appearances as are necessary to obtain and assess all the relevant information before taking a next step. We will obtain the police information package which outlines the case against you. We will review the information and discuss the case with you, and with the Crown Prosecutor. From there, we will determine what to do next. One of the immediate benefits of having us as your lawyers is that you will not have to come to court or do anything further until we inform you otherwise.
Indeed the only thing you have to keep vigilant of is that we always have your most current contact information. We cannot stress enough the importance of having clear lines of communication. Always contact our office to advise of changes in address, email, or phone number, and of any extended trips you are planning which might make communication difficult.