These comments will help you use the Criminal Justice System Handbook in the Suffolk County.
District Court and the town and village courts are the local Criminal Courts in Suffolk County. Where the Handbook refers to Criminal Court, in the five west end towns of Suffolk County you might substitute District Court.
There is no Central Booking facility. Generally, arrestees are processed in the precinct and brought to the District Court within 24 hours for arraignment.
The police department may decide to release you on Station House Bail once you are arrested. If you are able to make this bail, the police will give you an Appearance Ticket, telling you when and where to appear in court for arraignment. If you appear as directed, the police department returns the money posted as station house bail to you (though the court may decide to set bail on you at arraignment).
There is no Criminal Justice Agency (C.J.A.). The Suffolk County Probation Department interviews arrestees before arraignment and submits a ROR report to the arraignment judge.
At Arraignment, if you are able to hire your own attorney, the judge will not generally appoint a Legal Aid or 18-B attorney to represent you for arraignment only.
Arraignments are conducted every day of the year, including weekends and holidays. The arraignment courtroom is D11, which opens at 9:00 AM. There are no scheduled evening or night sessions for arraignments in Suffolk District Court.
Though bench warrants are signed for defendants who fail to appear as directed by the court, the District Court also notifies by mail of adjourned dates if the defendant does not appear. It is important to inform the court if your address has changed.
If you do not appear for a court date or to pay a fine, District Court may also suspend your drivers license in addition to or instead of issuing a warrant. When you do appear in court, you will need to pay a fee to lift the suspension from your license.
If the Grand Jury votes to indict you, your case will be transferred from District Court to County Court (in Riverhead).