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Blogs from March, 2024

Navigating Your First Criminal Court Appearance in Central Islip, New York: What to Expect

Entering a courthouse for the first time can be an intimidating experience, especially when you’ve been accused of a crime. The whole experience is filled with uncertainty and anxiety. Understanding what to expect can help alleviate some of that stress.

All jurisdictions follow a strict set of procedures, and Central Islip, New York, is no different. Here's a guide to help you prepare for your first court appearance as a defendant.

Arriving at the Courthouse

Suffolk County First District Court, 400 Carleton Ave, Central Islip, NY 11722

Security Check

As you approach the courthouse, you'll notice security personnel. Before entering, you must pass through a security checkpoint similar to those found in airports. This process involves walking through a metal detector and having your belongings scanned. Make sure to arrive early so you have time to go through security.

Finding Your Courtroom

In the Islip courthouse, the metal detectors are located on the 1st floor, and the courtrooms are located on floors 3 through 6.

After going through the metal detector, ask the Court Office to direct you to the elevators. These take you up to your courtroom.

The courtroom numbers are as follows:

  • 3rd Floor: D31 – D36
  • 4th Floor: D41 – D46
  • 5th Floor: D51 – D56
  • 6th Floor: D61 – D66

When you get to your courtroom, go inside and wait for your attorney. You do not have to check in with anyone inside the courtroom. After your attorney arrives, they will discuss your case with an Assistant District Attorney. Then, you and your attorney will go outside of the courtroom and spend time discussing your case.

Your lawyer will tell you exactly what to expect back inside the courtroom. They will give you instructions on what the judge will say and how they will respond. Your attorney will also tell you what, if anything, you will have to say. You will also be told whether your case will be finished that day or if it will be postponed.

You then go back inside the courtroom with your attorney. Once the clerk of the court calls your name, you and your attorney will walk toward the judge’s bench. Then, you all discuss your case, following the format your attorney told you. Some cases are finished at that moment, but most are postponed to another date. Remember to address the judge as "Your Honor" and follow any instructions they give you.

Your first court appearance may seem intimidating, but with preparation and understanding, you can navigate the process confidently. Remember to arrive early, dress appropriately, and adhere to courtroom etiquette. By following these guidelines, you can approach your court appearance with assurance and readiness.

Before You Leave for the Courthouse

Dress Appropriately

Courtrooms are formal environments, and proper attire is essential. For men, appropriate dress typically means casual pants and a collared shirt. Do NOT wear jeans or a T-shirt.

Women often wear a dress, a skirt, or dress pants paired with a blouse. Do NOT wear jeans, a T-shirt, or a tank top.

Also, avoid wearing clothing with offensive language or graphics. Doing so may result in your being denied entry.

Practice Courtroom Etiquette

Inside the courtroom, proper etiquette is crucial. Remain quiet and attentive at all times. Disruptions can interfere with proceedings, and they could result in contempt charges. Turn off or silence your cell phone to avoid distractions. When addressing the judge or other court officials, use respectful language and wait to be acknowledged before speaking.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, Laurence A. Silverman & Associates is here to help. For a free consultation, contact us online or call our office at (631) 816-2684.