Court Etiquette

  • Weapons of any sort are prohibited
  • Drugs are prohibited
  • Electronic devices are not to be used in the courtrooms (unless approved by the court)
  • Do not chew gum while testifying
  • Stand up straight and speak clearly
  • Pay attention to any instruction given by the employees of the court and the Judge
  • It is permissible to respond with,”I don’t recall” if you do not remember some details
  • Answer only the question that you are asked. Do not volunteer information
  • If you do not want to answer a question, do not ask the judge whether you must answer it. If it is an improper question, your attorney will rise and state an objection.
  • Do not shake your head to indicate a “yes” or “no” answer. Use words to answer every question.
  • When in court, federal magistrates are to be referred to as “Your Honor”.
  • The court is only interested in the facts. Please do not give your opinions or your conclusions unless you are asked.
  • Do not allow yourself to become angry. This will not help your case.
  • Try to dress professionally.
  • Remove sunglasses in court.
  • Have any evidence or relevant paperwork handy.
  • Try to leave disruptive children at home.
  • Be early. People who are late may be issued a bench warrant or have their bail forfeited.
  • Do not leave the courtroom without knowing when and where you are ordered to return.
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Understanding Bail: Your Rights

  • You are innocent until proven guilty
  • You are entitled to a fair and speedy trial
  • You are entitled to make a phone call after being arrested
  • You are entitled to know what you are being charged with
  • You are entitled to an attorney or a public defender
  • You are entitled to have your property returned to you when you are released form jail (Excluding evidence)
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How Bail Works

When someone is arrested on a bailable offense and bail is set, the defendant can forfeit his/her right to see a judge within 72 hours of arrest (weekends and holidays excluded) and bail out.

This is done most commonly using one of two methods:

The defendant or someone other than the defendant will post cash bail at the jail.
This dollar amount is 100% of the set bail for the defendant’s offense.
If the set bail is $5000, then $5000 cash will need to be posted.
When the defendant has fulfilled all of his/her obligations by appearing in court on all matters until the case is resolved the cash posted for his/her release will then be returned to the party who posted it.
If neither the defendant nor any family members or friends have access to the entire bail amount. They can call a Licensed Bail Agent and arrange to post a Bail Bond.
To post a Bail Bond, typically you would need two things, PREMIUM & COLLATERAL.
Premium is 10% of the set bail, (Bail equals $5000, premium would be $500), and is considered earned once the defendant is released on said bond and at that time is nonrefundable.
Collateral is something for the Bail Agent to hold until the defendant has finished all required appearances with the court, at which time it would be returned.
Collateral is usually one of four things, CASH, CARS, REAL ESTATE, and in some cases SIGNATURES of someone who qualifies to be financially responsible to secure the bond.

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The Legal Process

The defendant is charged with a crime by the arresting agency.
The District Attorney reviews the case and makes a decision whether or not to file charges.

If the District Attorney does not file charges, the case is dismissed.

If however, the District Attorney does file charges, there will be an arraignment where the defendant would plead either innocent or guilty.

If the defendant pleads guilty he/she would be sentenced and the case would be closed, if defendant pleads innocent then a court date would be set.

The court would then hear the case, reach a verdict, and the case would be closed

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