FOUR WAYS TO HELP YOURSELF:

Do not talk to anyone about your case. Do not talk about your case to anyone, except your lawyer or your lawyer’s staff. If you are in jail, do not talk about your case on the jail telephone. All phone calls in jail are recorded and any conversations you have can be used against you in court. Also, all mail that leaves or enters the jail is opened and read. If you write a letter to your lawyer and want the letter to be confidential, write the words "LEGAL MAIL" on the envelope.

Let your attorney talk for you in court. Your lawyer will talk with you before your court appearance and then talk for you in court. It is generally not a good idea to speak for yourself in court unless directed to by your lawyer. Your lawyer knows the law and what is in your best interest.

Do not be late for court. Your court slip has the date and time of your next court appearance. It is very important that you come to court on time. If you do not show up to a court appearance, and your appearance has not been "waived," the court will issue a warrant for your arrest. Most court hearings begin at 8:15 a.m. There is usually a long security line to get into the courthouse and it is sometimes hard to find your courtroom. Arrive at least 15­ - 20 minutes early to be on time for your hearing.

Stay out of trouble. The last thing you need is another problem hanging over your head. If you are released from custody, stay clear of situations that might put you back in jail.