District Criminal Court

District Criminal Court handles infractions, misdemeanors, probable cause hearings, first appearances, bond hearings, juvenile court, and administrative traffic court. The Chief District Court Judge is responsible for scheduling judges for court and supervising magistrates.

General Rules for District Court:

  1. Generally, the order of disposition is motions for continuances, guilty pleas, and trials.
  2. If you receive a traffic citation the court room and time will be designated on the citation.
  3. Court generally starts with the calendar call, to determine who is present. It is a crime not to appear if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. If you are charged with a traffic infraction and do not appear your driving license will be revoked.
  4. Generally, the docket has from two hundred to three hundred cases for adjudication each day.
  5. If you are subpoenaed to District Court you must appear or face a possible sanction of jail or a fine.
  6. Shorts, cutoffs, and tank-tops are not appropriate attire in District Court.
  7. Cases are not automatically dismissed at the request of the victim. The Assistant District Attorney in the court room makes the decision as to whether a case will be dismissed.
  8. Bring photos, documents, and witnesses when you come to court. If you suffered a loss be prepared to prove what was lost.
  9. Answer all questions completely and truthfully. Perjury is a class F felony in North Carolina.
  10. Notarized statements from witnesses are not admissible.
  11. Remain seated in the public audience section unless you are called beyond the bar.
  12. When your case is called up tell the Assistant District Attorney if there are codefendants or other charges.
  13. NC State Bar rules prohibit Assistant District Attorneys from giving you legal advice.
  14. Assistant District Attorneys cannot tell you the result of a lesser plea or what effect a plea will have on your insurance.
  15. Attorneys are the only individuals in the court system authorized to give the public legal advice.