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Appearing in Harris County Court: What to Expect?

Published: Sep 16, 2021 in Criminal Defense

The only people who want to go to court are attorneys. For most, it’s a hassle to deal with parking, bureaucracy, and procedure. But if you’re facing charges, helping a loved one, or looking to get a vital outcome, going to court can be intimidating.

First off, going through the Harris County Court process is much easier with an experienced defense attorney who knows the local system. However, here are a few other things to know if you’re going to court in Houston, Texas.

Harrison County Court: Where to Go

If you were arrested and told to return for your first court appearance, you should appear at the District Court at the following address:

Harrison County Courthouse
200 West Houston
Marshall, Texas 75670
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday
Phone: 903-935-8400

First Appearance in Court

You will be ordered to appear in court for an arraignment soon after you are released. When you return, you should wear nice clothing and be appropriately groomed. Your clothing should be clean and pressed, if possible. Your hair and nails should be clean as well.

Please contact your defense attorney if you have problems acquiring appropriate clothing or obtaining tools to groom your hair and nails. They can utilize their network of resources to connect you with organizations like the Greater Houston Salvation Army, which can help you get ready for your first appearance in court.

How to Act in Court

The courtroom is a formal location with people who are generally more conservative. Although you may be sociable, it is a good idea to tone it down in court.

You can and should speak to your attorney about what’s going on and ask questions but keep them to yourself while the hearing is going on. You should not say anything or comment on any of the other matters while they are being heard. Do not speak to the judge unless they speak directly to you or asks you a question.

Your attorney is your biggest asset. They are there to represent your interests. Let them do their job and help you get the best outcome possible.

How Do I Get an Attorney?

You should almost always try to find a way to hire a private attorney. That might mean borrowing money from a family member or friend, if possible. You may also be able to pull money out of a 401(k) or borrow against your home. These are all options that will allow you to get the best criminal defense counsel available and should be considered an investment in securing a positive outcome.

However, if you genuinely cannot pay for an attorney, you can submit an Affidavit of Indigence to the Harris County Court and get a public defender to represent you in your case.

FAQs for Harris County, Texas Criminal Court

1. When will my docket number be called?
A. Your odds are good, no matter how far down the list you are. Judges generally schedule the number of cases they know they can handle each day and move through them quickly.

2. Do I have to appear at Docket Calls?
A. Yes. Unless your case has already been set for trial, you must appear at all Docket Calls for which your docket number is scheduled.

Need Help? Call A Lawyer

Going to court to deal with charges is frustrating and can be complex. Don’t take unnecessary risks by handling things alone or make things worse by saying something you shouldn’t in court. If you’re in Houston, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett.

Call us today at 713-222-6767 for a free initial consult.