Practical Suggestions Concerning Court Attendance
what to do if you need to go to court
- BE ON TIME – If your lawyer does not tell you differently, court starts at 9:30 a.m.
- NO PHONES, cigarettes, or knives are allowed in the courthouse.
- NO CHEWING GUM, snacks, or drinks in the courthouse.
- MAKE SURE you know which courtroom is your courtroom, and whether you are supposed to be in the Courthouse Annex.
- DO NOT wear shorts to court. DO NOT wear sunglasses to court.
DO NOT wear sunglasses, hats, or headwear of any kind to court.
DO NOT talk loudly, laugh, or argue in the courtroom.
BE RESPECTFUL to bailiffs, court personnel, and law enforcement.
DO NOT discuss your case with anyone in court unless your lawyer instructs you to do so.
- If your case does not have an outcome you are happy with, WAIT until you are outside the courtroom to tell your lawyer how you feel.
- IF YOU ARE CALLED TO TESTIFY, sit up straight, look at the person speaking to you, and be polite.
You should be in the courtroom no later than 9:30. Leave time to go through security and to find the right courtroom. If you are late to court, you risk being called and failed, which will complicate your legal situation and possibly send you to jail.
Leave your phone, cigarettes or knives in your car or at your lawyer’s office.
These items may be seized if brought into the courthouse.
Throw it out before you get to the courthouse door.
Ask the bailiffs, ask the courthouse personnel, or stop by Mr. Gore’s office if you are unsure where you need to be. Note that the Courthouse Annex is a separate building from the new Columbus County Courthouse. No court is held at the Historic Columbus County Courthouse.
Dress conservatively. No graphic T-shirts. If you attend church, a good rule of thumb is to dress like you’re going to church.
Discussing your case with others could harm your case. Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
Expressing frustration in court may land you in jail for contempt of court.
Say “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” or “Yes, ma’am” and “No, ma’am” when answering questions. If you do not understand the question, ask to have the question repeated or explained.