Paul Saputo - Best Lawyers in Dallas 2019 - text over Texas flag

What to Expect in Court

What do I wear?

Our general advice is to wear your “Sunday Best” – whatever that means to you.

What time do I need to get there?

You need to be there on time. If you’re late, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. Generally that means you should plan on arriving early to the building early enough to find parking, get through security and find your courtroom. Court buildings can be confusing, so if you have never been to court before, we suggest arriving to the building 30 minutes early.

Your attorney will likely arrive after you. This is completely normal. Unfortunately for everyone, all court settings are usually at the exact same time. And we have more than one client hearing every day. So we can’t get to everyone at the exact same time. We may also have court in multiple different counties on the same day, in which case we may be running quite late. Don’t worry about it. Please be patient. We promise we won’t forget about you. If you have concerns, please feel free to email or text us.

What will happen?

For most court settings, the attorney will speak with the State prosecutor privately, and sometimes both the State prosecutor and your attorney will speak to the judge. Sometimes these conversations with the judge are “on the record” and sometimes they’re “off the record.” Either party (the state or the defense) can request this audience to be on the record. But most often we’re just discussing administrative issues, and there’s nothing really in dispute, so it’s just an informal conversation.

Most often, our clients do not speak to anyone and just wait for us to be finished. Some courts will require you to “Announce” that you are present when your name is called (like they did in school). And other courts will simply require you to wait in a line to tell the bailiff that you’re there.

Do not leave court without speaking to your attorney, however. Your attorney will dismiss you. If you leave early, we might not be done handling your case, and you could be liable to have your bond held insufficient and a warrant issued for your arrest.

For some kinds of court hearings, such as occupational driver’s license hearings, we may need to ask you some questions “on the record.” This is what’s called a “prove up.” Basically what that means is that the court needs certain facts about your case to be recorded before granting you your requested relief (such as your occupational license). It’s no big deal – we will just ask you the same questions that we’ve already asked you, and all you have to do is respond truthfully. Basically we just read you the petition that you have already reviewed and ask you if all the information is correct.

Why do I need to be there?

The court requires you to be at most court settings. The judges get to control whether or not your attendance is required. Don’t shoot the messenger. They’re not our rules. We just tell you about them so that you don’t get in trouble.

What happens at an occupational driver’s license hearing?

At an occupational driver’s license hearing, we will just be asking you to confirm that the information you gave to us is correct. We’ll have your petition for an occupational driver’s license and just ask you whether all of the information on it is correct.

Recent Case Results

  • 2019 Not Guilty in Collin County DWI >0.15
  • 2019 Not Guilty in Dallas County Indecency with a Child
  • Oral Argument at the United States Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim arising out of Northern District of Texas
  • 2018 Not Guilty in Martin County Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
  • Not Guilty in 2018 Dallas County DWI Trial
  • Client cleared in Dallas Police Shooting wrongful accusation
  • Federal sentencing results in 10 Year Downward Deviation from Sentencing Guidelines in 2018
  • Not Guilty Jury Verdict for client originally accused of Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Case Dismissed after picking jury in Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child case in 2017
  • United States Attorney dismisses case against client charged in El Paso Federal Court with Possession of Child Pornography
  • ALL CHARGES DISMISSED against our client in the Twin Peaks Waco Biker case
  • Client “No-billed” by grand jury investigating shooting death case
  • Coverage of Case Involving Waco teacher sending messages to student
  • Judge returns a Directed Verdict of Acquittal in case involving trainer of professional athletes
  • Rare Not Guilty verdict in Rockwall County DWI
  • 2016 Dismissal of Fort Worth Federal Possession of Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
  • Hill County Money Laundering case Dismissed and civil asset forfeiture assets returned
  • Coverage of teen Lewisville client charged with hit-and-run death
  • Two Montague County Indecency with a Child cases Dismissed