Is it your first time in the Queenstown District Court?
We always recommend that if you ever have contact with the Police, whether under arrest or where a Police Officer just want to have a “talk” that you call a lawyer and seek legal advice about your rights before speaking to them.
If you have been arrested and charged with an offence the Police will have issued you with a notice to attend court. This is called a summons. It will include the date that you need to appear in Court.
For many this is a very daunting experience. Here is some general information around how a typical Court day will run so at least you don’t have to worry about logistics.
A typical Court day
Queenstown District Court is located at 36 Stanley Street and opens at 9:00am. Court runs every Monday.
When you first go through the door you will be greeted by security staff who will direct you where to go.
If you do not have a pre-arranged lawyer to advise you on your case, you should go to the front desk and check in with the Registrar who will assign you a duty lawyer. A duty lawyer is there to discuss your charge(s) with you and can advise you on what to do next depending on the type of charge you are facing and your circumstances.
The Court building opens at 9:00am and the Court appearances begin at 10:00am. It is usually a busy day so unfortunately it will more than likely involve a wait. You could be waiting until 1:00pm and on a very busy day, later still. So make arrangements accordingly.
Court has breaks during the day: 11:30am – 11:45am, 1:00pm – 2:15pm and 3:30pm – 3:45pm. Take these breaks as an opportunity to go and put money in the parking meter, get some fresh air or grab some refreshments. There is a public car park across the road from the Court which costs $4 an hour.
In the Court room
The Judge will be at the front of the room. There will be a police prosecutor who prepares the police files and there will also be news reporters for the local paper, Court attendants (Registrars) and lawyers.
The room is open to the public and there is seating at the back.
Your lawyer can show you the room layout before you go in.
Your lawyer is there to represent you and will talk on your behalf in relation to your charges, you do not speak to the Judge unless you are asked to.
How can we help
The Criminal Defence team at TODD & WALKER Law frequently appear in the Queenstown District Court. We are a team of highly experienced lawyers who regularly represent clients on all manner of criminal charges.
We regularly cover all areas of criminal law from court appearances, diversion applications, discharges without convictions, limited licences, judge alone and jury trials, sentencing and appeals. We understand that the criminal process can often be an overwhelming experience and we are here to assist every step of the way.