If you have received a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) and you can't go to the mention, you may be able to plead not guilty in writing. You can do this by filling out a form called a 'Written Notice of Pleading' and sending it to the court at least seven days before your court date.
Before pleading not guilty in writing, you should get
legal advice. The court may not accept it and may want you to come to court instead.
You cannot do a written notice of pleading if you are on bail. You must attend court.
A Written Notice of Pleading is a form that tells the court that you want to plead guilty or not guilty.
If you plead not guilty in writing, you won't need to go the mention but you will still have to go to court on another date.
When the magistrate gets your written notice of pleading, he or she may:
A blank Written Notice of Pleading form may be sent to you with your court attendance notice (CAN). If you did not get one, you can get a copy from:
If you use a Written Notice of Pleading to plead not guilty, you will need to include the following:
Instructions for filling out a written notice of pleading - pleading not guilty.
Sample written notice of pleading - pleading not guilty.
After you complete the form you should:
A written notice of pleading should be received by the court listed on your CAN at least seven days before the mention. If they receive it any later, the court may decide to sentence you in your absence.
The court may reject your written notice of pleading if:
If the court rejects your written notice of pleading your case may be adjourned (postponed) and you will be notified that you are required to attend personally before the court on the next occasion.
If you do not go to court on the new date, the case may be heard without you and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
After your court date, the court will send you a letter telling you the date that your case will be heard. If you want to know sooner, you can call the court registry and ask them.
Before the hearing date you should start preparing your case. For more information, see
Preparing for the hearing.