Your Day in Court - What to Expect

Learn what to expect when you 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:
    • Requests for postponements
    • Uncontested motions first arraignments
    • Guilty pleas
    • Contested motions pleas of not guilty (with attorney)
    • 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.