Tuesday, June 15, 2010


After you are arrested for a crime you need to know what to expect.

Upon your release from jail, or the police, you will be given some paperwork. READ it carefully.

You must be prepared to ATTEND the given court date (contained in your paperwork) with or without an attorney. Look respectful: No hats, shorts, jeans, t-shirts or sweatshirts.

On the court date, check the posted CALENDAR at the courthouse and go to that courtroom. Occourts.org also lists the courtroom.)

If your name is not on the calendar (or website) do the following:

• GO to the CLERK'S office at the Courthouse. Obtain verification that you were at the Courthouse.

• GO to the DISTRICT Attorney's office (also at the Courthouse). Ask for the status of your case.

Verify they have your correct address. They may mail you a new court date.

When your name is on the calendar go to that courtroom. Before you enter, look at that door at any POSTED SIGNS to verify your case has not moved to another courtroom.

When you enter, approach the BAILIFF. This is the person in a sheriff's uniform usually at a desk towards the front of the courtroom. The bailiff may check you in and tell you to take a seat to wait for the Judge.

When you check-in the bailiff may give you paperwork listing the charges against you and a list of your rights. READ both of these thoroughly.

Once the JUDGE takes the bench court will begin. He or she will then call each case individually.

When your case is CALLED, you will need to stand in front of the Judge (do not put your hands in your pocket). The Judge may:

• Set BAIL in your case which means that unless you pay to be released you will remain in jail until your case is resolved.

• Ask you if you want to REPRESENT yourself (depending on the charge) or hire an attorney.

• Tell you what the sentence will be if you plead guilty. This is called an INDICATED sentence.

The Judge will then ask you if you want to PLEAD guilty, not guilty or if you want the court date CONTINUED so you may hire an attorney. If you plead not guilty or ask for time to hire an attorney you will receive another court date. If you plead guilty, you will have a criminal record and you will receive paperwork outlining what you need to do.

Prior to entering a plea you should be aware of your rights, what are reasonable expectations for your particular case, and if you have any legal defenses to the charges.

Do not rely on these materials for legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been established between you and Rosanne Faul unless we have signed a retainer agreement. There is no express or implied warranty of representation with respect to the accuracy of any materials contained on this website. No promise or guarantee that this information is correct, complete or relative to your specific case exists.

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