For those who have never stepped foot into a courthouse before, the first time in a courtroom can be filled with anxiety and fear. Many are terrified of what will happen if they have to stand in front of a judge. This is very normal, and a criminal defense attorney can help guide you through the process and calm your fears.
When You Do Have To Appear In Front Of A Judge In Wake District Court:
1. When you are entering a guilty plea
2. When you enroll into a deferral program, such as 90-96
3. When you go to trial
4. When you ask for a continuance (certain judges only)
5. When you are advised of your right to court appointed counsel
When You Do Not Have To Appear In Front Of A Judge In Wake District Court:
1. If your case is immediately dismissed
2. If your attorney appears for you (your attorney will advise you on this if it’s possible)
3. For some continuances (certain judges only)
What Is It Like To Appear In Front Of A Judge?
It depends on whether you have an attorney or not, and who the judge is. If you have an attorney, he or she will be by your side the whole time, and will do a majority of the speaking in most cases. In some situations the judge may ask you questions. If the judge does speak to you, look him or her directly in the eye, be respectful, and speak loudly enough for him or her to hear. Some judges will speak to you more than others.
If you do not have an attorney, the judge may question why you want a continuance or why you were charged at all. Many judges attempt to use their position for good and will try to create a teaching moment. Some simply want to docket to move quickly. If you sit in the courtroom for even a half hour, you will get a feel for the judge quickly. The one thing you should always remember: when the judge is talking, you stop talking. Do not ever try to speak over a judge.
It’s okay to be nervous — even seasoned attorneys sometimes get nervous when speaking to a judge, even though they don’t show it.
If you were charged with drug possession, larceny, concealment of goods, assault, open container, or another crime in Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, or Knightdale, contact William Pruden at (919) 880-2124 for more information about how Will can guide you through your criminal case.