Being charged with a criminal offence can be scary.
If you have been summonsed or bailed to appear, you will have received a court date. It is very important that you attend court on that date, and that you arrive well before the time listed on your bail document or summons.
You should engage a lawyer as soon as possible in order to obtain the appropriate advice and to progress your matter. Butler McIntyre & Butler can assist with all criminal matters and our lawyers are happy to discuss your matters, so please call us today to arrange an appointment.
What Will Happen When I Go To Magistrates Court In Tasmania?
When you arrive at court, it will usually be quite busy. It is important to make yourself known to your lawyer; we will call your name if need be. We will need to speak with you prior to your appearance to confirm your instructions. We will let you know which court room you are in and how long it is likely to be before your matter is called on.
Once you know what court room you are in, we will ask you to either wait in the back of the court or outside the court room. The court clerk, who ensures the smooth running of the court, will call for appearances, that is, they check that the people involved with a matter have arrived. It is important that you let them know you are present.
At that point, you will simply need to wait for your matter to be called on by the magistrate or your lawyer comes to get you.
The prosecutor is the lawyer for the other party. The prosecutor will call witnesses and ask them questions about the case; they will be testifying against you. Your lawyer has the right to cross-examine the witnesses.
The prosecutor will also produce any evidence they have gathered that may help their case.
When the prosecutor is finished, your lawyer will call the witnesses to support your case. The prosecutor is able to cross-examine these witnesses and you.
Your lawyer will also submit any evidence related to your matter.
What Will Happen When I Go To Supreme Court In Tasmania?
An indictable offence is a charge that needs to be heard in the Supreme Court. If you are charged with this type of offence, you still need to appear at the Magistrates Court in the first instance.
When you enter a plea in the Magistrates Court, your matter will be committed, or sent, to the Supreme Court.
Once your matter is committed, all of your appearances on that matter will be in the Supreme Court. Butler McIntyre & Butler are able to assist with Supreme Court matters, so please call one of our lawyers to discuss your situation.
What To Wear To Court
People often ask their lawyer what they should wear to court. It is advisable that you wear something smart casual attire to court that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
It is recommended that you try and avoid wearing:
- Damaged clothing
- Revealing or see-through clothing
- Clothing with offensive messages
- Strapless tops
When inside the court room, remove any hat or cap and your sunglasses.
Other Court Etiquette
- You will not be able to take any food or hot or open drinks to consume in the court room.
- Please be aware that on entering the court building you will pass through a screening device similar to airport lounges. Please ensure that you are not carrying any sharp objects. These items may be confiscated by court security.
What Happens When I Don’t Go To Court?
Failure to appear in court means that a warrant will most likely be issued for your arrest. If this happens, it is important not to panic.
If you have a lawyer, you should call him or her as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances.
If you do not have a lawyer, Butler McIntyre & Butler are able to assist and advise you – please call our office to speak with one of our lawyers.
Generally, the best way to deal with this is to hand yourself in to the nearest police station as soon as possible, but you should call us before you do so to obtain advice.
You may be remanded or held in custody at that point. If you co-operate with the police you’ll be in a much better position than if you are arrested on the warrant.
Should you require legal advice whilst you are on remand or in custody, please contact our criminal law team at Butler McIntyre & Butler on 6222 9444.