If you are an adult and have been charged with a criminal or traffic offense in Henrico, Virginia, chances are your first (and hopefully only) stop will be in the Henrico General District Court. We thought it might be helpful to post a few suggestions about how to handle yourself, and about what to expect.
1. Dress for Court!
- Do not dress for a lazy day at home. Dress nice. If you are not going to wear business casual attire (which is recommended), at least make sure that you wear pants as opposed to shorts. As you might imagine, many Judges appreciate individuals who show respect for the Court. Your apparel decisions can suggest to a Judge what level of respect (or disrespect) you have for the Court system.
2. Be Quiet and Respectful.
- Talking and acting out in Court is strongly discouraged—it is even possible to be held in contempt for certain conduct. So, be courteous and respectful while inside the Courthouse, and be particularly polite to the Judges, clerks, and deputies!
3. There are 4 Henrico County General District Courtrooms.
- After you go through the metal detectors at the main entrance, you will find that all of the General District Courtrooms are located on the first floor—two on the left side of the main stairwell, and two on the right side. There are docket sheets posted outside each Courtroom. When you arrive, look at the docket sheets. When you find your name, you have found your Courtroom!
4. Be On Time!
- As a general rule, the Judges in Henrico start their dockets on time. Sometimes, a Judge may even call your case early. We suggest showing up at least 15 minutes early in Henrico General District Court. That will give you time to locate your courtroom and settle in before your case is called.
- Normal traffic/criminal dockets are at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. If your first hearing is an arraignment, if your case is scheduled for attorney status, or if your case was taken under advisement, you might have Court at 9:00 a.m. Check your summons/warrant to confirm your date and time.
- If you are not 100% sure when you are supposed to be in court, call the clerk’s office and/or check your online status (read our post: Have a Pending Civil or Criminal Case in Virginia? Check Your Case Status Online).
- Additional information about the location, contact information, and basic docketing schedule can be found at the Virginia Courts Website.
5. Speak with an Attorney as Soon as Possible.
- If you have not discussed your case with an attorney, it might be wise to do so. An attorney will help explain the nature of the traffic or criminal charge against you, what defenses you might have, and what outcomes might be expected.
The Virginia trial attorneys at BoykoNapier practice regularly in all Henrico County Courts, and throughout the Richmond area, including Chesterfield, Hanover and the surrounding localities. Call our office today at (804) 658-3418 to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, or feel free to contact us via email.