What should I expect when I go to court?

Prior to entering the courtroom, please turn off or silence your phone or pager. When you get to court, check in with court staff. Listen to instructions from court staff and from the judge. The proceedings are sound recorded, so please remain quiet until it is your time to speak.

The judge will give an opening statement explaining court procedures, defendants' rights and penalties. Cases are usually called in the following order:

  1. Requests for postponements uncontested motions
  2. First arraignments
  3. Guilty pleas
  4. Contested motions
  5. Pleas of not guilty (with attorney)
  6. Pleas of not guilty (without attorney)

A case may be postponed to give you time to obtain representation by a private attorney or by a public defender (if you qualify) and prepare your defense. If you need a postponement, ask the court staff for assistance. If your case involves a dispute between you and another person, you may be required to participate in a discussion with a mediator to attempt to settle the dispute without going in front of the judge.

Show All Answers

1. What happens when the court's orders are not obeyed?
2. How can I appeal a decision of the court?
3. If I am found guilty, what happens after court?
4. Can I use the Internet to find more information or to plead guilty and pay a fine?
5. What if I plead not guilty?
6. What is a plea agreement?
7. What should I expect when I go to court?
8. If I can plead guilty without going to court, how much will I have to pay?
9. Do I need to appear in court if I choose to plead guilty and pay the fine?