You have been (or may be) charged with a criminal offense by the United States Attorney. Both myself and my staff realize that this is an extremely stressful time in your life and we sympathize with your situation. With your cooperation, we will make this process as easy as possible for you and your family. With that in mind, please review the following information and instructions:

You must appear at every court date. Remember to always bring your Black Folder to court with you. You may bring a bottle of water into the courtroom. Do NOT enter the courthouse with a camera, including cell phone cameras. When appearing in court, please get to court on time (by 8:30 a.m., unless told otherwise). When the courtroom opens, check in with the clerk or US Marshal, give your name and tell the Marshal you are represented by the Law Offices of Joseph P. Smith. You should contact my office the afternoon before your scheduled court appearance.

After your initial arraignment, we will send you a copy of your criminal complaint and police report. By order of the Court, these reports may be redacted (i.e. personal information and names of victims and witnesses will be blacked out. There may also be supplemental reports as the case progresses. As I have discussed with you, you MUST review all of the reports in your case for content, including any mistakes, omissions, or misleading comments. Please prepare and submit your critique of these reports right away, so that I will have time to review your comments prior to the next scheduled court date. Please also prepare and submit to me your own written statement of the facts surrounding your case. Mark all your correspondence “Attorney-Client Confidential Communication”.

After every court appearance, you will receive correspondence regarding the disposition of your case or the next scheduled appearance date. Keep this correspondence with your other court papers in your Black Folder.