Even if you have been to court before, following these six steps can help you feel more prepared.
The legal system is complex. Being charged with a crime can have ongoing impacts on your life.
A lawyer works for you and will help you navigate and understand the system to ensure that your rights are protected.
Find out how to get legal advice.
Support workers can help you with support needs connected to your court case.
Find out how to get a support worker.
Having information about your medical history helps lawyers and judicial officers understand your capacity and support needs. Importantly, it helps protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly in the criminal justice system.
You should speak to your lawyer about whether a report will help your case.
You can help your lawyer by collecting any old reports that you might have. People or places that might have old reports include:
New reports can be expensive. VLA can sometimes provide funding for reports. Speak to a lawyer about what funding is available. You can also find out more about VLA's funding guidelines.
You can also ask your doctor, support worker, counsellor or psychologist if they will provide a free report for court.
It is recommended that support workers and friends, family and carers to write a letter to the court in support of a person with disability. This will help the court take the person's support needs into account and potentially help their sentence and outcomes.
Read guidance on writing a support letter.
Each court has its own way of searching for court dates. Most court lists are available for the public to see.
Court can be an overwhelming place. It is usually busy and confusing.
There are people and organisations at court to help you.
Find out how to get help at court.
Supporting Justice © Centre for Innovative Justice, RMIT University, 2019
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