One of the biggest issues that cause stress for my clients is the waiting period. In the majority of criminal cases, your attorney can do nothing to speed up the waiting process. The control lies with the clerk of the court, judges, and prosecutors. The court system moves at their own pace depending on the amount of cases that are ahead of yours. If your case gets delayed a few months, don’t worry. It is because your case has to wait its turn in the regular rotation of the court docket. Here, learn about court basics to help prepare.

There are times when your attorney will intentionally delay your case. This is referred to as a “continuance”. These extended periods provide accommodation for your case to increase your chances for a better result. Try not to stress during the waiting periods. Your attorney is doing what is in your best interest and you have to trust their decisions.

Courthouses

In the state of Connecticut, various courts get powers from the Connecticut constitution. A DUI charge is considered a criminal matter, so your case will be called in a Connecticut Superior Court near you. This section of the Superior Court is called a GA, or “geographical area”. It encompasses the geographical region of Connecticut appropriate for your case. For example, Hartford Superior Court also goes by G.A. 14. This serves the towns of Avon, Bloomfield, Canton, Farmington, Hartford, and West Hartford.

Prosecution and Defense

The person representing the interests of the state of Connecticut is called a State’s Attorney. This person is prosecuting you for the DUI charge. If you have seen television and movies that deal with legal issues, oftentimes this person gets referred to as a DA or District Attorney. In Connecticut, they are referred to as State’s Attorneys. The State’s role in the criminal justice system is to prosecute a person (the defendant) who is accused of breaking the law. The defense attorney represents and defends the Constitutional rights of the defendant in a court of law.

Types of Cases

There are different kinds of criminal cases, depending on the severity of the offense. Felonies are crimes that are punishable by prison sentences more than one year while misdemeanors are punishable by prison sentences of one year or less. Other cases include violations, which include motor vehicle cases punishable by a fine only. In addition, infractions may also include cases where someone pays a fine by mail without requiring a court appearance (for example, traffic tickets). All are criminal cases but the most serious ones go to geographical area courts around the state.

Dressing for Court

The clothing that a defendant wears is a statement to the judge and an impression on the prosecutor, marshals, and the court staff including the clerk. I always advise my clients to wear business clothing to court. For my male clients, this means a suit, dress shoes, tie, etc. A sports jacket and dress shirt is acceptable as well. For female clients, consider wearing a business suit; however, a formal dress shirt, blouse or sweater with clean and pressed dress pants is satisfactory. It is not recommended to wear jeans, hats, t-shirts, or any revealing clothing to court. Also, dressing for court is not the time or place to make a fashion statement.