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we're here to help people whose lives are affected by drugs

Attending court

Reduce the stress of attending court by getting yourself prepared, this may not take long, but will help a lot on the day. Here are some useful tips to help you along the way, some may seem very obvious but use the list to make sure you have everything covered.

Advice on attending court


  • There are security measures at every court so make sure you do not have any substances or inappropriate items on your person, including alcohol when entering the court
  • You may be searched or asked to walk through a metal detector when entering the court
  • For your court appearance, dress smartly where ever possible
  • Make sure you attend court in plenty of time for your hearing
  • Bring any paperwork relating to your hearing with you
  • When you arrive at court make yourself known to the front office and ask which court you are in
  • If you have a solicitor, find them as soon as you arrive so they know you are there
  • If you have a key worker they may be able to offer advice for the particular court you are going to; so ask them if you are unsure
  • If you have a telephone, make sure your worker has your up to date number so they can keep in touch and help you wherever possible.  Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go to court.
  • You do not have to go to court on your own but your companion may need to wait outside the courtroom depending on the court you are attending
  • Make sure your represent yourself well at court (this also applies to anyone who goes with you)
  • Treat court staff and other people within the court with respect
  • If you are unsure about the outcome of your hearing, ask the usher before you leave
  • If you are given an appointment to attend after your court hearing, make sure you attend.  This is very important!  In some cases it can result in your arrest if you do not attend

More information

Go to the Supporting Documents below to download the 'more than just surviving the criminal justice system'.  This booklet was written by a women who has been through the criminal justice system and provides useful practical information and support.

For more information on criminal justice support visit -

Release is the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law - providing free and confidential specialist advice to the public and professionals.

Release also campaigns for changes to UK drug policy to bring about a fairer and more compassionate legal framework to manage drug use in our society.

First draft by Hazel!

First draft by Hazel!

First draft by Hazel!

First draft by Hazel!

Supporting Documents

Related Links