Commins Hendricks SolicitorsCommins Hendricks Solicitors
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Preparing For A Court Appearance

Heading to court? Then start off on the right foot

4 August 2016

By Erin Brown – Solicitor, Traffic Law & Criminal Litigation.

Going to Court is a stressful event for anyone involved in the process and is a difficult system to manage if you are not familiar with the system.  It is extremely important to start off on the right foot and ensure you have the correct information you need to make a decision about where your criminal matter goes.

As a Solicitor who regularly represents clients at Court each week, I understand the difficulties people who are unrepresented face when they walk through the Court doors.


There are a number of things you can do prior to your Court date and on it and some of these are:

Seek some legal advice

Know the correct Court date – if you don’t attend Court on the correct date, your matter can be dealt with in your absence and you won’t be able to present your side of the story.

Collect a copy of your paperwork – this is often called a Court Attendance Notice or CAN for short.

Read the Court Attendance Notice with care – if you don’t have a copy, call the police station that is closest to where you were arrested and they should be able to give you a copy. Alternatively give the Court Registry a call for some assistance.

Ensure you have a good understanding of the charges you’re facing– such as: how serious is the charge/s? What are the maximum penalties for the charge/s? What are the facts that make up the allegation?

On the day:

If you are unrepresented you must speak to the Court Officer to note your attendance.

Please turn up on time and dressed appropriately. Remember, first impressions are important when entering a Court room.

If you have don’t have a copy of your paperwork, speak to the Prosecutor to get access to your Court Attendance Notice and your record.  

Make sure they are correct! If you disagree to the facts you need to speak up.

Legal Representation

People often ask “why should I get a lawyer?”  While we understand you might be able to represent yourself, there’re circumstances where serious penalties can be imposed by the Courts.

It’s important to seek legal advice early on in the proceedings to ensure that you’re aware of all of the potential outcomes and consequences and that you understand the options available to you. We help with all the preparations and then, on the day, ensure your name is ticked off with the Court Officer, gather the paperwork for you as well as peruse it for mistakes, and then represent you in Court. 

Having an experienced representative to argue your case can make a difference to the outcome.

If you have any questions, please contact us to book an appointment on 1800 643 779.