LegalYou: What To Expect When Going To Court

So you’re on your way to court for whatever the reason may be.

Don’t worry.

We’re not the judge. We’re just here to tell you what to actually expect when going to court, courtesy of LegalYou. Before you’re questioned, you may have some questions of your own, like: is it OK to bring a bottle of water in?

How about food? What absolutely should not be in my pockets? Is it better to not have pockets? How long am I going to have to wait? In short, what are the practical things you need to know for your first day in court?

First things first. Here’s a basic rundown of what to expect when you enter the halls of justice.

Anyway, you walk in, and there will be a screening station of some kind, like the airport, sort of. This is where court security officers will stop you and check the contents of your purse, briefcase or whatever bag you decide to use.

Most often they will run the contents through an x-ray machine, while you walk through a metal detector. Under no circumstances should you bring a weapon into court, of any kind. There is no video or audio recording devices allowed and no photography.

That’s why in Federal court you can’t bring a cellphone, because of the camera. However, in State court, you can. But in both courts no food or drink is allowed, although you generally can bring in a bottle of water.

Anything that will disrupt the court proceedings is also prohibited. Think things out long beforehand. If you bring something that won’t be allowed in, there isn’t some storage space to keep it.

Even though you might have to wait for a while before your case is called, do not be late. If for some crazy reason you are late, then make sure to call the judge’s assistant to let them know. It is also polite to call the person on the other side or their attorney.

This doesn’t mean it will be excused, but it can only help your cause. Once you arrive, make sure you head to the right courtroom. Look for signs or ask the deputy running security. When there, wait patiently for your case to be called.

Don’t be disruptive or disrespectful.

Once it’s your time in front of the judge, follow as instructed and proceed with the case at hand. Just remember, as a taxpayer and citizen, the courts are part of your government and they are there to help you resolve problems.

Don’t be afraid to use them.

You can do this.

Any other questions you have regarding this or other legal matters, visit