In this current situation there are many questions about court closures and what to do. We are here to answer those questions. Below you will find the most commonly asked questions we have received. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please contact our office! We are happy to help during this scary and confusing time.
Q: I have an upcoming court date that is when court is closed. What do I do?
A: Do NOT go! The clerks will reschedule your court date. Do NOT assume the clerks will notify you. Check http://www1.aoc.state.nc.us/www/calendars/CriminalQuery.html to see if your court date has been updated. This is a fluid situation, as time progresses the courts may extend the closures. Continue checking the court website to verify your court date. If you miss your court date, there can be some serious repercussions!
Q: I need to pay my court costs (or some other fee). Can I go to court to pay those?
A: Yes, you can go to the courthouse to pay your fees. Although we recommend paying them online at this time. You can do so at https://www3.nccourts.org/onlinepayments/menu.sp. If you are unsure of your file number, you can call your attorney or if you didn’t hire an attorney, you can call the clerks office in the county you received the charge is (check here to find the number).
Q: I am in a diversion program for my criminal charge and I have to complete community service and/or alcohol-drug classes. Will I receive more time to complete this due to the current situation?
A: In most cases, yes. You will most likely be given more time to complete the requirements. Be sure to double check with your attorney or the coordinator for your diversion program.
Q: I am required to complete certain things for my sentence. Do I get more time to complete these requirements due to the current situation?
A: In cases where community service or a substance abuse assessment and treatment are a part of a defendant’s sentence, it is important to contact an attorney if you cannot complete your requirements as a result of the pandemic. Because a judgement is a court order from a judge, only that judge can extend the time necessary to complete the requirements from the sentence. A lawyer can assist you with this by filing a motion to modify the terms of the judgement allowing more time to complete the requirements.
Q: I have court costs or fees to pay from my criminal conviction. Are these still due?
A: YES! Typically, you have 40 days from your date of conviction to pay your court costs. These MUST be paid by the due date or you will be considered in violation of a court order. You can pay your court costs and fees online at https://www3.nccourts.org/onlinepayments/menu.sp. (This does NOT apply to those that are in the 9096/First Offenders Program).
Q: Is it likely that they will just dismiss my charge?
A: No. You will still need to be there (unless your attorney tells you otherwise). It is VERY unlikely the DA’s office will just dismiss your charge unless you already had an agreement in place.