Appearing at a local court can be an intimidating experience, particularly if it is your first time and you don’t have a criminal lawyer.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence that requires a court appearance at a local court such as Corowa Local Court, you will receive notification by post of the time and date you will need to attend.
If you were arrested and previously released on bail, the details will be on your bail form.
What do I do if I can’t attend court on the specified date?
It is important that you turn up for your court appearance, or you could face more severe penalties.
If for some reason you will not be able to attend, make sure you phone the court ahead of time, and they will advise you what to do.
If you are sick on the day, you will need to provide a medical certificate.
How can I prepare for court?
To ensure the best possible outcome for your matter, it is important that you are well prepared. It is a good idea to seek legal representation from a lawyer who attends Corowa local court regularly, and can help you prepare your defence and advocate on your behalf.
As Corowa is a local court, you will appear before a magistrate rather than a judge and jury.
If you are representing yourself, it is important to make sure you have any paperwork required and evidence to support your case prepared well in advance.
Research all you can about the court process, so you have an understanding about what is happening.
At the court there will be a duty solicitor who can provide you with advice about your case on the day.
On the day
Make sure you arrive at the courthouse early.
The court lists will be on display in the foyer, and will let you know which court your matter is being heard in. If you can’t find your case on the list, or you are unsure where to go, there will be a court officer on duty who can help you.
When you enter the courthouse, you will have to go through a security screening process.
Make sure you don’t bring any prohibited items such as knives, weapons or anything that could potentially be used as a weapon, such as syringes or scissors.
If any prohibited items are found, they will be confiscated and returned to you when you leave the courthouse.
You may need to spend a considerable amount of time waiting around, so it is a good idea to bring food and a book to read.
Once you arrive at your designated court room, advise the clerk that you are present and wait in the appropriate area.
It is important that you listen out for your name to be called, and make sure you don’t leave the immediate area.
For minor matters or if you are pleading guilty, your case will probably be resolved on the first appearance.
If you plead not guilty or if the case is more complex or serious in nature, the court will be adjourned until a later date to allow all the parties involved to gather their evidence and prepare their case.
Obtaining legal advice is a good idea if you are facing an appearance at Corowa local court, or any other court in NSW.
Your criminal lawyer can advise you whether to plead guilty or not guilty and give you an idea of the potential penalties you face.
With the right advice and good preparation, you can increase the chance of having a positive outcome from your court case.