10 simple things you can do to prepare for court
1. Know when and where you are required to appear. It is a good idea to double check your court date 1-2 days before you are scheduled to appear. In Greenville, District Court courtrooms DC 01 and DC 02 are on the main floor of the Pitt County courthouse and courtrooms DC 03, DC 04 and DC 05 are in the basement. Superior Court courtrooms SC 01, SC 02 and SC 03 are all located on the second floor. Follow the link to verify your court appearance date on the official court website.
2. Contact your witnesses and to ensure that each witness knows when and where to appear in court. If a witness is on telephone standby, then make sure that you have a cell phone number where the person can be reached.
3. Dress appropriately. You should be conservatively dressed and neatly groomed. A good rule of thumb is to dress like the judge - no not the black robe, just the professional look.
Men should wear a dress shirt and slacks. Women should wear a conservative skirt or dress. Always tuck in your shirt; always wear a belt; never wear tennis shoes, jeans or T- shirts to court.
4. Be on time for court. Court begins at 9 a.m. Unless we make other arrangements, I will meet you in the courtroom. DO NOT SHOW UP LATE for court. Certain judges will issue an order for your arrest if you are late.
5. Be familiar with the facts in your case. Know dates and times of events and the full name of your witnesses. Talk to your witnesses before court to refresh your recollection. Review all notes and interview sheets that you prepared for me in connection with your case.
6. Bring with you to court all documents verifying completion of community service hours, substance abuse classes and payment of restitution amounts. You should also have access to money to pay court costs ($200).
7. Your cell phone should be set to "silent" or "vibrate". If you talk on your phone in court or if it rings in court, you will lose it. Most judges will, however, permit text messages in court so long as you are discrete and do not disrupt the court proceedings.
8. Always show respect for the judge, the prosecutor, police officer and the court system.
9. Don't be a problem customer. You should never approach or initiate contact with prosecutors, court bailiffs, police officers or the Judge. Instead, direct your questions to your lawyer. Always show respect for the judge, the prosecutor, police officer and the court system.
10. Please be patient. Court is sometimes a very slow and inefficient process. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated by me and will help you achieve the best possible result in your case. Bring a book or magazine with you to court. If you are a student you should bring a text book.
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