Appearance in District Court
The following are important facts that will assist you with your appearance in District Court in both New Hanover and Pender County.

Generally, the order of disposition in District Court is guilty pleas, motions for continuance, and trials. The docket ususally has 200 to 300 cases a day to be disposed of.

  • Court starts with the calendar call, to determine who is present. An Assistant District Attorney is in court no later than 9:00 a.m. to talk to witnesses.
  • If you receive a traffic citation the court room and time will be designated on the citation. If you do not appear your driving license will be revoked.
  • It is a crime not to appear if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. If you are subpoenaed to District Court you must appear or face a possible sanction of jail or a fine.
  • Cases are not automatically dismissed because the victim requests they be dismissed. The Assistant District Attorney in the court room makes the decision as to whether a case will be dismissed.
  • Bring photos, documents, and witnesses when you come to court. If you suffered a loss be prepared to prove what that loss was.
  • Be in court early if you have witnesses, so that the Assistant District Attorney may have an opportunity to talk to you before court starts.
  • Answer all questions completely and truthfully. Perjury is a class F felony in North Carolina.
  • Notarized statements from witnesses are not admissible.
  • Remain seated in the public audience section unless you are called beyond the bar.
  • When your case is called up tell the Assistant District Attorney if there are codefendants or other charges.
  • Be clean and neat with your dress attire for appearing in court. Shorts are not appropriate attire in the District Courts of Pender and New Hanover County.
NOTE: Attorneys are the only individuals authorized to give the public legal advice.

Assistant District Attorneys cannot give legal advice. Assistant District Attorneys represent the State of North Carolina and are prosecuting the case. Assistant District Attorneys cannot tell you the result of a lesser plea or what effect a plea will have on your insurance.