A police officer gave me a Notice to Appear. What does that mean?
If a police officer has given you a Notice to Appear (NTA) it means you have been charged with a criminal offence and you need to attend court to answer to it.
The NTA will contain important information that you need to know, including:
- the offence/s that you have been charged with;
- the time, date and place that the offence/s are said to have occurred;
- the time and date that you are required to attend court; and
- the relevant court that you are required to attend.
It is essential that you attend court on the date and time listed on the NTA. A failure to do so may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.
A failure to attend court may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.
In addition to issuing a NTA, the police officer may also give you another notice, such as a Notice to Provide Identifying Particulars or a Notice to Provide a DNA Sample. If you have received one of these notices, you are required to attend the police station listed on the notice within seven days of receiving it. A failure to do so may result in further charges being laid against you.
Do I need to notify my employer?
If you have received a NTA, you also need to consider whether you have an obligation to notify your employer and/or a professional body.
There may be a clause in your contract of employment, or in one of your employer’s policies, that requires you to notify your employer if you are charged with a certain type of criminal offence. For example, in Queensland, public servants are generally required to provide written notification to their supervisor within two days of them being charged with a criminal offence that carries a maximum penalty of two or more years of imprisonment.
If you are employed in a role that requires registration or practising rights (for example, a doctor, nurse, lawyer etc), you may also need to notify the relevant professional body that you have been charged with a criminal offence. Often, professional bodies require written notification of a practitioner being charged with certain types of criminal offences within a very strict timeframe.
You can read more reporting requirements specific to health practitioners in our blog “Health practitioners’ obligations to continually update National Board”. It’s important to note, however, that notification requirements differ between professional bodies, so you need to act quickly and obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
Depending on how the criminal matter is dealt with, you may also have an obligation to notify your employer and/or professional body of the outcome.
What should I do if I have received a NTA?
If you have received a NTA it is essential that you seek legal advice immediately. The criminal law team at Hall Payne Lawyers are well equipped to provide advice in relation to a criminal offence you have been charged with, in addition to any obligations you may have in relation to notifying your employer and/or a professional body.
This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or Federal level.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall Payne Lawyers.