A Complete Guide to Your Day in Fort Bend County Criminal Court:
Most of those who appear in Fort Bend County criminal court are not “criminals.” In fact, the majority of these people simply made a one-time mistake, and are good people with normal lives, families and jobs. Yet you can feel as though you are definitely being treated as a criminal when you appear in Fort Bend County Criminal Court, particularly if you appear without a Sugarland Criminal Attorney by your side, making sure your rights are being protected. It is almost certain that you will be anxious about your day in Fort Bend County criminal court, wondering where you should go, what you should say to the judge, what you should wear, and other issues as well. Without a doubt, this can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life, and you may even be faced with questions you have no answers to and paperwork you may not fully understand.
The decisions you make during this time can have extremely long-lasting repercussions, therefore having a Sullo & Sullo Sugarland Criminal Defense Lawyer in your corner can make a huge difference in the outcome of your criminal case. Whether your case is a misdemeanor or a felony, you risk ending up with Fort Bend County Criminal Records, particularly if you do not make the right decisions in court. You may be facing an aggressive Fort Bend County District Attorney who can make your Fort Bend County Arrest look like a walk in the park. The Sugarland Criminal Defense Attorneys at Sullo & Sullo can help through your criminal charges, whether misdemeanor or felony.
Where Will I Go? The Fort Bend County Courts at Law administer justice for major criminal cases, major civil action, juvenile detention, mental health cases and probate. The County Courts are housed within the Fort Bend County Justice Center at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469. The Fort Bend District Courts are also at the Fort Bend County Justice Center at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469. If you are unsure which court your case is assigned to, you can call (281) 633-7618 or you can speak to your Sugarland criminal lawyer to be sure you go to the correct courtroom. Parking is available at the Fort Bend County Justice Center.
What Time Should I Arrive? You will definitely need to consult with your Sugarland Criminal Defense Attorney to determine what time you should arrive for your court appearance. In many cases, you may spend most of the morning at the courthouse, although a first appearance typically takes longer than a follow-up appearance. Dockets for those on bond often begin at 9:00 a.m., and you never want to be late for your court appearance. It is generally advised that defendants arrive at the courthouse at least half an hour prior to their appearance, as time must be allowed to park, go through the courthouse metal detectors and other unexpected issues which cause delays.
Remember, if you are not present—for virtually any reason other than a true, serious emergency—then you could forfeit your bond, and may also have a warrant for your arrest issued. If you have a true medical emergency, you must make sure you have documentation from your doctor to back up your claim. In short, your appearance at a Fort Bend County Criminal Court is virtually always mandatory, and missing a scheduled appearance is never a good idea.
What Should I Do Once I Arrive? When you arrive at court, locate your courtroom, and, if your attorney is there, you may want to discuss your upcoming court appearance. If you do not immediately see your attorney, he or she could be handling another case in a nearby courtroom, so do not panic, just remain quietly in your assigned courtroom until your attorney shows up and your name is called. Of course, it is very stressful waiting for your case to be called. Try to remember that everyone in the room is probably just as nervous and anxious as you. Once the judge is in the room, you must remain quiet—or risk being reprimanded by the judge in front of the entire roomful of people.
What Should I Wear? Dressing casually is never a good idea when you are appearing in a court of law on criminal charges. Even if it is extremely hot outside, never consider wearing shorts, tank tops, t-shirts or flip flops into a courtroom. In the same vein, avoid sneakers whenever possible—low-heeled dress shoes for women and dress shoes for men. Men should wear long pants with a belt, and a neat, tucked-in shirt—either a button-up or a nice polo shirt. Women should either wear dress pants or a skirt with a nice blouse or a conservative dress—no short skirts or revealing tops.
If you are a man with facial hair, make sure it is nicely trimmed and that your hair is neatly combed. Women should avoid “messy” hair or any extreme hairstyle. Have your hair neatly combed and out of your face (A neat pony tail is acceptable). If you typically wear a lot of jewelry, leave it at home for your court appearance. A watch and wedding ring and possibly small earrings or a simple necklace are all you will want to wear to court. Avoid long acrylic nails, or nails which are painted in bright colors.
How Does Courtroom Security Work? Courtrooms all have metal detectors, most of which are similar to airport metal detectors. You could potentially have to undergo a pat-down search or being subjected to a hand-held metal detector. Any personal items you bring in with you to the courtroom will be screened with an x-ray or could even be searched manually. Generally, the fewer items you bring in, the better. Of course, no weapons are allowed, and pocket knives are considered a weapon. You are not allowed to bring in any type of sharp object, any self-defense spray, scissors, or anything which could potentially be considered a weapon. Visitors may be asked to remove shoes, keys, loose change, belt, coat and cell phone when going through the metal detector. And speaking of cell phones—always turn off your cell phone inside a courthouse. There is nothing which will irritate a judge any worse than a cell phone going off during court.
What Should I Expect Once Inside the Courtroom? As noted, if you must speak to your attorney while inside a courtroom, do so in a low voice and only before the judge arrives. There is no smoking allowed inside a courthouse, and gum-chewing is another thing likely to irritate a judge. Should you arrive at court obviously hung over or impaired, the judge is allowed to drug test you on the spot. Since you will probably spend a considerable amount of time waiting for your case to be called, bring a book to read, or something else you can do quietly which will help you pass the time. Your attorney may answer some of the questions from the judge, but you will probably be required to answer some as well.
If the judge asks you a question, consider your answer carefully before speaking. Always speak to the judge respectfully, even if something he or she says is not right or makes you angry. Some cases can be resolved during the first court appearance, while others can take 30 days, 90 days, or even much longer for serious criminal charges. Never leave the courtroom until you have spoken to your attorney and are sure your presence will not be required any longer. Spending time in a courthouse is definitely an anxiety-producing experience, however having an experienced Sullo & Sullo Sugarland Criminal Defense Attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the experience of the day as well as the eventual outcome.
Following a Fort Bend County Arrest, your Sullo & Sullo attorney will carefully consider the effect Fort Bend County Criminal Records will have on your future and will negotiate on your behalf with the Fort Bend County District Attorney in an effort to have all charges dropped, to have the charges reduced to lesser charges, and/or to secure a lighter sentence. In short, your Sullo & Sullo Sugarland Criminal Lawyer will help your through your day in Fort Bend County Criminal court, always fighting to protect your rights and your future.