I’ve retained Ms. Allen’s services, what now?
Below are some frequently asked questions that can guide you through this process.
Q: Do I need to appear in court with my attorney?
A: For most cases, no. When you signed the “Waiver of Appearance” section of the Agreement of Representation, you designated Jennifer Allen Law, PLLC to appear on your behalf. However, there are certain cases that will require your appearance if requested by the judge or Assistant District Attorney. In cases where your appearance is mandatory or beneficial to you, we will specifically notify you and schedule an appointment for you to meet your attorney in court.
Q: Do I need to attend driving school? If so, which one?
A: Unless otherwise instructed by an Assistant District Attorney, we strive to advise you during your initial consultation on whether or not driving school will be necessary for you. If you must attend a driving school, we will send you an e-mail with instructions on how, when and where you can take a course.
Q: Will my case be resolved on the first court date?
A: Navigating your case is a process and frequently the court system moves slowly. There are many reasons a case may be continued: our office may be awaiting a copy of your driving record or a letter from your insurance company; the docket may have been full on a particular day; we may want to negotiate a more beneficial outcome for your case; etc. It is completely normal for a case to be continued to another court date, sometimes several times. This does not have a negative impact on your case and will not cause you any additional costs. We will notify you of any continuances in your case(s).
Q: What can I expect to hear after my court date?
A: It is our goal to always keep you informed on the status of your case. However, our office frequently has a large volume of cases that are heard in a single day. This makes it difficult to notify every client on the day of his or her court date. We will work as hard as we can to keep you updated on the status of your case. You can expect to hear one of the following after your court date:
- Your case has been continued. In this situation, we will notify you via e-mail, letter or by phone within two weeks of your court date and will let you know if there is anything we need from you prior to the next court date.
- Your case has been resolved and you owe court costs and fines to the Court. In this situation, we will send you a letter immediately notifying you of the final disposition and a line item bill for outstanding court costs and fines. These costs will need to be paid to the County in which your case was heard within 40 calendar days of your court date (including weekends). It is your responsibility to keep us updated with your current address. We cannot be held responsible for additional fees or suspensions incurred if you fail to notify us of an address change. We also cannot request additional time to pay your court costs and fines, so please be prepared to pay those fees within 40 calendar days of your final court date.
- Your case has been settled and your court costs and fines were paid to our office in advance. In this situation, we have paid the court costs and fines due to the Court on your behalf and will mail you a letter stating your final disposition along with a receipt showing that your court costs and fines have been paid in full. This may take up to four weeks depending on when we receive receipts from the clerk of court’s cashier and can get the letters out.
Q: I’m not 100% when my court date is. How can I check?
A: The clerk of court routinely updates the NC Courts website with your court date. We understand that the citation can get worn and hard to read. Therefore, we advise that you double-check on: http://www1.aoc.state.nc.us/www/calendars/CriminalQuery.html to make sure where and when your court date is set for.
Q: In order to secure a reduction, I need to do driving school and/or community service. Where can I complete this?
A: The courts understand that you do not necessarily always live in the county in which you received the ticket. In the case of driving school, as long as it is an accredited driving school that has a 4-6 hour class (or if you need 2 days of in-person driving school, 8 hours), all we need is a certificate of completion mailed or dropped off at our offices to move forward with your case. If you are unsure if the driving school meets these requirements, you can always call our offices or let them know that it is for traffic court. Many schools are familiar with the process and will let you know if their organization qualifies.
In the case of community service, your community service can be completed with any non-profit organization of your choosing. This would be anything from volunteering in a homeless shelter, at a soup kitchen, for the Red Cross or YMCA, etc. The only requirement other than it being a non-profit is that you must work under a supervisor who can give you a signed letter on their letterhead at the conclusion of your community service certifying the number of hours that you volunteered.
Again, we thank you for choosing Jennifer Allen Law. We look forward to working hard for you!Our Team at Jennifer Allen Law, PLLC