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What should I do when I arrive at court for my first appearance?

Try to arrive at least 30 minutes before you are scheduled to be in court. If you’re not sure what to do, go to the courtroom you are scheduled for; there may be people outside of the courtroom to help you.

If you don’t have a lawyer with you on your first appearance, you can speak to duty counsel before you go into the courtroom. If you have a lawyer, and they have left you instructions (usually a letter), you should tell duty counsel this because they may help you present those instructions to the judge.

You should try to be in the courtroom before court starts. This is because your name could get called and you’ll have to go to the front of the courtroom and speak to the judge. If you hear your name called and you are in the hallway or speaking to duty counsel you should go into the courtroom.