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Coronavirus: Attendance at Scottish CourtsScottish Courts and Coronavirus

For up to date advice on whether you need to attend court, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website is providing up-to-date information.   If you need advice on the likely impact of coronavirus on your driving case, conctact us.

Update on 5 November 2021: Coronavirus and attendance at Scottish Courts

Courts are running, and cases are going ahead.   The courts are an “essential service” and have been generally exempt from the lockdown.  However, many cases do not require the attendance of an accused in person.  You should follow advice on whether your case is going ahead and whether you should attend in person.  If attending court presents a danger to your health, or someone else who is vulnerable, it may be that you do not need to attend at court.  For advice on your case, call us.

RULES ON ATTENDANCE AT COURT DURING COVID

The following advice is for general information only.  For advice specific to your case, contact us.

DO I NEED TO ATTEND COURT FOR MY CASE IN THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT

It depends. The JP Courts are sitting and hearing cases.  Often, even when it appears you have to attend, you can get a solicitor to attend in your place. Call us for advice.

SHERIFF COURT CASES ARE PROCEEDING

The Sheriff Courts are proceeding. Trials are being heard but courts are being managed carefully to avoid large numbers of people in the court buildings.  Whether or not you must attend depends on the circumstances of your case. If you have a solicitor, it may be the that the solicitor can attend in your place.

SPECIFIC COURT PROCEDURES

Pleading Not Guilty – you won’t usually need to attend court for this first hearing.  Advice from the courts regarding attendance is here. If in doubt, get legal advice.

Pleading Guity – cases will proceed.  If you might get a ban, you will need to attend court or speak to a solicitor who can present the case in your absence.

Trials / Exceptional Hardship Hearings.  You usually need to attend.  You might be given a specific start time.  If you have been told to attend at 10 am, this time is likely to be generic: this is the default start time given to everyone, as it’s the start of the court day.  You should plan to have potentially a long wait.

Bail Undertakings – if you were released by the police on an undertaking (a formal promise to attend court on a specified date) you must attend court at the time specified in the undertaking.  If this presents a danger to your health, or someone else who is vulnerable, contact us.

If attending court, you must observe covid rules to protect the public. For example, you should wear a face mask in court and observe social distancing.


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