Juvenile instructions


You have been (or may be) charged with a criminal offense by the District 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:

For Juvenile cases, you and at least one of your parents (or guardians) must appear at every court date. You may bring a bottle of water to court. Do NOT enter the courthouse with a camera, including cell phone cameras. Remember to always bring your Black Folder to court with you. When appearing in court, please get to court on time (by 8:30 a.m., unless told otherwise). When the courthouse opens, check in with the receptionist on the first floor, give your name and tell the bailiff you are represented by the Law Offices of Joseph P. Smith. Then proceed to the waiting area outside your assigned courtroom. Expect to be at court until at least noon. We make every effort to get you out of the courthouse before then, however, due to court congestion and calendar obligations, there will be some days when your case will not be called until the afternoon calendar. We keep these instances to a minimum.

My Office contacts the Court clerk each morning at 0830 AM to let the court know what time the attorney will be arriving. The attorney may not be there at 0830. Typically, our Office has more than one case on calendar each court day. Between myself and my Associate Attorney, Naomi Nguyen, appearances are arranged based on location, type of court setting, and tactical advantage. Should you want to know what time and/or who will be appearing on the case, please contact the 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.