If your are attending a criminial Court in Canada you should come early. This means you should allow yourself extra time for bad traffic, bad weather, finding the Courthouse, getting parking, and finding the right courtroom.
You need to make sure you are on time for your court appearance. If you are not on time the Judge or Justice may issue a warrant for your arrest and if you are accused you may be charged with another offense. On late arrival you may be arrested and held. If you are known for not attending Court on time you may have a hard time getting bail.
It is also important to speak to your lawyer, one hour, or half an hour, or 15 minutes before Court starts.
In a set Court date your attorney will not want to put your name on the list of matters until he or she sees you. It can be very embarrassing to the lawyer if they are called only to find the client isn't there. It is also possible that your case can be placed at the bottom of the list. If your attorney does not submit your name on the list you will not be called early. If this is the case you will have to sit in the Courthouse for hours before you get called which could have happened first or second if you were on time.
In a trial Court your lawyer cannot play hardball with the Judge in negotiations if there's a problem with their case and you are absent. Your attorney can not get instructions from you on a plea to a lesser charge or some other settlement. Your lawyer also cannot interview the witnesses you are bringing if you are not there yourself. It is important that you meet with your lawyer before your court hearing starts because it is as every bit as important as the trial itself.
It is possible that you might be running late for your trial time because of traffic. If this is the case you should call your lawyer's office and call the Court to let them know. This could possibly save you a night in jail.
If your attorney does not show up and the trial starts in the next 15 minutes phone your attorney's office and find ut where he or she is.
Do not be affraid to ask someone to page your lawyer.