I have received a Court Attendance Notice- what now?

What is a Court Attendance Notice

A Court Attendance Notice (CAN) is an official document notifying you and the court that police have charged you with a criminal offence. This document provides important information about your charge, including

  1. What crime you have been charged with.
  2. A very brief description of the allegation against you.
  3. The time, date and place of the court where you have to appear to answer the charge.

Types of CANs:

There are two types of CANs. A full CAN is a black and white A4 piece of paper.

Sometimes, instead of giving you a full CAN, police may had you a “Field CAN”. This is a small yellow piece of paper. When you get a field CAN, police are supposed to send you in the mail a full CAN before your court date. However, if you do not get the full CAN, you still have to appear at court at the time, date and place on nominated on the Field CAN.

Other documents you may also get with a CAN

Depending on the situation, you may also get other documents with the CAN. These may include:

  • A Facts Sheet.
  • A bail undertaking.
  • A property list.
  • Forensic procedure consent forms.
  • For DUI charges, a certificate of the reading and a docket style print out from the breath analysis machine.
  • An audio recording of any statement you gave to police.
  • For domestic violence charges, an audio recording of any statement the alleged victim gave to police and photographs of injuries to the alleged victim and/or damaged property.
  • A Provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Order
  • A notice of pleading.

What to do if you receive a CAN

Get legal advice immediately.

The worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and try to ignore what is happening. Being charged with a criminal offence is very stressful and it can be tempting to put the whole thing aside and try to forget about it, but in the long run that will only make things worse.

Remember, it costs you nothing to call us and arrange a free, no obligation initial discussion with one of our lawyers about you case. We can explain the legal process to you and help you come up with a plan how to deal with your situation.

If you do not either appear before the court as required by the CAN or arrange a lawyer to appear on your behalf, you could be convicted and fined in your absence or a warrant for your arrest can be issued by the court.

What if you receive a notice of pleading

For some less serious offences, the police may give you a form called a “Notice of Pleading” with your CAN. This is a form you can fill out and send to the court instead of turning up to court yourself.  It allows you tell the court whether you plead guilty or not guilty and, if you plead guilty, that you want the court to decide on your punishment in your absence.

It is usually not a good idea to use this form. If you use this form, the court will make a decision about your case in your absence, and you will be notified of the outcome by mail. This means that you will not be able to respond to anything that the prosecutor may say to the court against you and can lead to an outcome that is unfavourable to you. If you are thinking about using this form, we suggest that you have a free initial consultation with us first.

Call our office today to book a free consultation with one of our criminal lawyers on 1300 080 838

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