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CaptanLaw
CaptanLaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience:  I'm a criminal defence lawyer, who assists individuals charged with crimes.
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Should I have a lawyer first court date,to pick up the

Customer Question

should I have a lawyer for my first court date,to pick up the paperwork or can I do it myself then hire a lawyer. Criminal Harrassment charge, is there any way the charges can be dropped, can she say she doesn't want to press charges against me ?? ?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  CaptanLaw replied 7 months ago.
HiCan you tell me what province you're in?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
British Columbia
Expert:  CaptanLaw replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for the info.The first appearance in criminal court in BC generally has 3 functions:• to retain defence counsel,• to obtain an indication as to plea, and• to file the Arraignment Reports (Crown anddefence) (although these may be filed at a later time after disclosure is provided)It is always recommended to have a defence lawyer present with you at all appearances in court, although in theory, you could probably get attend the first appearance on your own and the retain counsel after that. In short, if you intend on hiring a defence lawyer for your case, it is advisable to hire them right away, so that they can ensure that your rights are protected at each step of the court process. For example, if at the first appearance, the Crown does provide the appropriate paperwork, the defence lawyer would know what type of comments to put on the record. You have a right to a trial within a reasonable time (section 11(b) of the Charter states this), and your lawyer can make sure your s. 11(b) rights are always protected.To address your second question, in theory, the Crown has the power to withdraw any criminal charge, whether it is a Criminal Harassment or a Murder. However, the Crown is not obligated to follow the desires of a complainant or victim. The Crown is obligated to act in the public interest. Accordingly, if the complainant in your case writes to the Crown saying that s/he does not want the prosecution to continue, the Crown can ignore that request.At the same time, the Crown always screens cases in order to determine (1) whether it is in the public interest to proceed with a charge and (2) whether it has a reasonable prospect of securing a conviction. If a complainant shows signs that they do not want to be involved in the court process, this may affect the Crown's decision regarding whether it has a reasonable prospect of conviction.Depending on the seriousness of the allegations and your prior history, the Crown will decide what position it is taking on the file. I have represented clients in the past charged with Criminal Harassment, where the Crown ultimately agreed to withdraw the charges on certain conditions (for example, by way of something called a Peace Bond). Your lawyer's job is to try and see if there is any way to resolve the case in your favour. You, however, will ultimately decide what your wish to do with the case (ie, resolve it or go to trial).I hope that helps. If it has, don't forget to provide a positive rating; thank you and good luck.

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