Are you facing criminal charges in Alameda County? If so, you will have to appear in court. As in all jurisdictions in California and throughout the nation, criminal defendants must abide by a certain set of rules when it comes to court appearances. In order to familiarize you with your duties and obligations in regards to court appearances, we’re going to discuss court appearances in further detail.
For starters, “Court appearances are mandatory,” according to the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. If you have a scheduled court appearance and you don’t show, the judge will more than likely issue a bench warrant and the police will seek to have you arrested.
Suppose you were arrested but released on bail. If you are out on bail and you fail to appear in court, such a failure to appear could result in having your bail or bond forfeited. Additionally, you could face a $300 civil assessment fee. You can learn more about this fee by reading Penal Code Section 1214.1.
Can I Change My Court Date?
It is possible to change your court date; however, you cannot simply fail to show and change your court date after the fact. It’s not like changing a doctor’s appointment. If you failed to appear without changing your court date through the proper channels, you would be wasting the court’s time and you would face a bench warrant.
If for some reason, you need to change your court date; for example, it lands on your wedding day, then it’s best to go through your defense attorney. If you were released on a bail bond, the bail company should be notified of the change as well.
Proper Courtroom Etiquette
When you do go to court, it’s critical that you follow proper courtroom etiquette. If you show up late, or wear the wrong clothing, or if you get loud or aggressive or interrupt the judge, it can definitely anger the judge and impact how the judge handles your case.
Tips for your court appearance:
- Arrive early to court.
- Be prepared to go through a metal detector.
- Please leave your children at home.
- Dress nicely as if you’re going on a job interview.
- Make sure your hair looks nice.
- Do not chew gum in court.
- For women, don’t wear any revealing clothing.
- Shut off your cell phone before entering the courtroom.
- Remove any hats before entering the courtroom.
- Stand when the judge enters the courtroom.
- Address the judge as “Your Honor.”
- Do not interrupt the judge.
- Be polite and respectful to the judge, opposing counsel, your defense attorney, and courtroom staff.
When you go to court, you will be required to bring a series of documents with you. For example, you may need to bring your jail release paperwork, a sentencing or probation order, money to pay your fines, a copy of the citation, and proper identification among other documents. Be sure to ask your criminal defense lawyer for a list of what you need to bring to your court appearance so you’re fully prepared.
If you’re facing criminal charges in Oakland, contact the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed to work with a top-rated firm with a track record of success – call now to get started!