Understanding Canadian Criminal Law

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The Advocates Society Innocence Canada Criminal Lawyers Association Ontario Bar Association Toronto Lawyers Association Criminal Law specialist

What should I do to prepare for my first meeting with a lawyer?

What should I do to prepare for my first meeting with a lawyer?

It is important to come prepared to your first meeting with a lawyer. This will allow you to ask any questions you have about the process and put you in a position to answer any questions the lawyer may have for you.

You should bring all documents that you received from the police or the prosecutor to the meeting including disclosure or your bail papers. In addition, if you have any relevant documents, photographs or names of witnesses, you should also bring this information to the meeting as well.

Another thing that is often useful to prepare in a criminal case is a written chronology or summary of your involvement in the matter. If you chose to bring a document like this to your first meeting, please ensure that any written documents that you create about your case should clearly be marked at the top with, “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL – FOR MY LAWYER”. This ensures that your documents will not be used against you at trial in the event that they are lost, stolen, or confiscated by the police.

It is best not to discuss your case or show your documents to anyone until you have had a chance to meet with a lawyer. Anyone you speak to about your case may become a witness against you (voluntarily or involuntarily at the request of the prosecutor). Only what is said in private to your lawyer is protected from potentially becoming evidence against you in your case.