• North Carolina Criminal Law | Navigating the Courthouse in Wake County, North Carolina
  • April 3, 2012 | Author: M. Moseley Matheson
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office, PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • When visiting the Wake County Courthouse for a North Carolina Traffic Case or a North Carolina Criminal Defense, it can sometimes be intimidating. Certainly you may face many questions. Some questions you may have can include: Where do I go? What time should I be there? How long will it take?

    The layout of the courthouse in Wake County, North Carolina is pretty straight forward. On the first floor is Disposition Court, referred to as '1A.' Depending on where you entered, that will either be on the floor where you came in (Fayetteville St), or up one floor (South Salisbury St). On this floor is also the Clerks Office (where you can get information) as well as the Cashier's office (where court costs and/or fines can be paid). From there, each floor that has a courtroom in it assigns that courtroom a number that corresponds with the floor. So, on the second floor is courtrooms 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D. So, if you are trying to determine what floor you need to go to, simply look at which courtroom you have been assigned. Once on the correct floor, you can verify you are in the correct place as that day's court calendar is posted outside each courtroom. The calendar is listed alphabetically, so you can verify by checking to make sure your name is on the list.

    As for what time you should be at the Wake County Courthouse for a court date can depend. If you are in courtroom 1A, which is Disposition court, that courtroom maintains open court hours from 9 until 3. It is not recommended that you come later then 2:00 to 2:30 just to be sure. Beyond that, all other courtrooms DO NOT have open hours and you are expect to be seated in the courtroom when court is scheduled to begin. This is normally either 9:00AM or 2:00PM. It is important to check to ensure what time your court is to be in session. It is always a good policy to try and be seated a half-hour before the start of court, just to ensure there are no problems. If your court is on the second, or possible third floor, and you do not mind taking the stairs, this is easy to plan. However, if you are going to need to use the elevator, know that they do tend to run slow, and get crowded quickly. Additional time should be planned if you intend to utilize the elevators.

    Lastly, with regards to how long it will take, that too will depend. If you are scheduled to be in Disposition Court (1A), the court staff and Assistant District Attorneys have gotten the process streamlined so that you will not have too long to wait to get through. Normally, you can get in and out of Disposition Court within an hour, however, they tend to be busier at the beginning of the morning.

    If your court room is anything other than Disposition Court (1A), then it's hard to predict how long it will take. Depending on what the Assistant District Attorneys have on calendar for that courtroom on that date, it can go by quickly or take the entire session (sometimes even carrying from the morning session to the afternoon). Understand that the Assistant District Attorney and court personal are as anxious as you to finish as quickly as possible, so it is recommended to be as patient as possible and they will get to your case.

    Hopefully this information will assist you when going to Criminal Court in Wake County, North Carolina for the first time.

    Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.