At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, we understand that many of our clients are nervous about going to court for the first time. While your first day in court may seem intimidating, a little bit of preparation may ease some of the stress.
Tip #1-Logistics: Know When and Where to Go
To check the date, time, and courtroom of your case:
· Go to http://www1.aoc.state.nc.us/www/calendars/CriminalQuery.html;
· Select “Wake County” from the drop-down menu;
· Type in your last name only;
· Click “Submit Query.”
When the list comes up, find and click on your name to bring up the details of your case, including the case number, charge(s), court date, courtroom, and session. In Wake County, there are 2 different sessions of court, designated either “AM” (meaning 9:00 a.m.) or “PM” (meaning 2:00 p.m.). Know which session of court you will be attending so you can take off work or make other arrangements to be there at that time.
Tip #2-Stay Prepared
About a week before your scheduled court date, the assigned courtroom will also appear on the website above. We recommend checking the website above frequently, as dates, sessions, and/or courtrooms have been known to change unexpectedly.
Tip #3-Dress to Impress
Try your best to dress conservatively. This means absolutely no T-shirts, shorts, hats, flip-flops, low cut tops, or short skirts/dresses. Sleeveless tops, jeans, and tennis shoes should also be avoided. For men, we recommend wearing khakis/slacks with a tucked-in collared shirt – ties and jackets are optional. Women should wear a conservative dress or a nice shirt with dress pants or a knee-length skirt.
Tip #4-Be Punctual
When your day in court arrives, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early. Downtown traffic can be unpredictable, so you will want to have plenty of time to find parking, walk to the courthouse, and go through security.
All criminal courtrooms are now located in the new Wake County Justice Center, across the street from the old courthouse, at 300 S. Salisbury Street. Because there’s no way to predict how long you’ll in court, we recommend avoiding metered parking spaces. Instead, park in the Wake County Parking Deck, which is located at 216 W. Cabarrus Street.
Tip #5- Ace Your Calendar Call
Once you get through security, take the stairs or elevator to your assigned courtroom. You should see your name on the blue monitor, which is located outside each courtroom. Go inside, find a seat, make sure your cell phone ringer is turned off, and wait until Calendar Call.
It is important to be on time to Calendar Call because if you are not there when your name is called, you will be marked absent. This can potentially lead to a “Failure to Appear” with a possible warrant for your arrest.
When your name is called, firmly say “Attorney” in a loud, clear voice. It is possible that your attorney may not actually be there with you at the time of Calendar call. Don’t stress! Your attorney should be on their way.
After the Calendar Call, expect that you’ll have to wait. Bring a book or magazine to keep you occupied.
If you’re facing a Wake County traffic or criminal charge, call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation with one of our experienced Raleigh criminal defense lawyers.