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What is an appearance notice?

An appearance notice is an official document telling a person they have to appear in court at a specific time and place to respond to a criminal charge.

An appearance notice is given to someone who is not yet charged with a crime. It says what offence the person has to respond to, and the time and place of their first appearance in court.

If the person does not go to court when the document says they should, a warrant may be issued for their arrest, and they could be charged with an offence (failing to appear in court).

Learn what to do if you receive an appearance notice, and what’s involved in defending yourself against a criminal charge.

  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in June 2020

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This information from People’s Law School explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. See our disclaimer.