You might be nervous about your first court date in Wake County District Court, and it is totally normal to feel that way. Just know that hundreds of people are on the docket each day in Wake County, and they are all there because they have been charged with some type of crime.
Before you attend your first court date, confirm the court date and the court room you are due in here. In Wake County, district court starts at either 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. If you have a traffic ticket in courtroom 101, you can arrive as early as 7:45 a.m. Make sure you arrive at least five minutes early to be present for calendar call. Although most assistant district attorneys do a second calendar call for those who arrive late, you will most likely be able to get in and out quicker if you arrive early. If you are due in courtroom 101, there will be no calendar call.
The ADA will give instructions before taking calendar call. Listen to these carefully. If you have a criminal defense attorney, you will say “attorney” when your name is called. The ADA will then know he or she is not permitted to speak with you until your attorney arrives. If your attorney is not there during calendar call or immediately after, do not fear — often criminal defense attorneys must visit multiple courtrooms each day, and will be with you shortly.
If you do not have an attorney, the ADA will speak with you and give you options regarding your case. If it is your first appearance, the judge will advise you of your right to hire an attorney or have one appointed to you based on your charges (and other factors, such as your income).
You may feel like everyone is staring at you and wondering why you are there, but they are not. They are too concerned with solving their charges to worry about others around them. If you believe you might need a Raleigh criminal defense attorney, contact Guirguis Law at (919) 832-0500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation.