Going to Court - Youth Accused
What to Expect
You may be asked to appear in court for a number of reasons, such as to testify as a witness or victim of crime or to address charges against you. Whatever the reason, you may feel anxious or confused about what might happen in court. Having some basic knowledge about courts and the legal process can help you prepare and feel more comfortable about what you may experience in court.
What to Wear
You will need to dress neatly and appropriately and act respectfully in court. To show respect to the court, you should keep your hands out of your pockets and not chew gum. As you may be required to be in court for several hours, you will want to wear comfortable clothes.
In addition to paying attention to your own appearance, be sure to ask your witnesses and supporters to dress neatly and appropriately.
Accused Going to Court
If you are a youth accused of committing a crime, you may receive an appearance notice from police at the time of the incident or a summons at a later date. An appearance notice and summons are legal documents requiring you to appear in court. Both documents include the date and time of your hearing, courthouse location and the fact you have a right to be represented by a lawyer.
- Appearance Notice – If you receive an appearance notice, it means you may be charged with committing a crime. This notice is given before you are officially charged. It will describe the type of crime you may be charged with.
- Summons - If you receive a summons, it means that you are officially being charged with committing a crime. The summons will tell you what charges are being laid against you.
Once you receive an appearance notice or summons, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
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