Arguably the most important part of a case is thorough preparation. However, no matter how prepared an attorney may be for their client, a client can ruin the case by not preparing themselves, including how they dress and conduct themselves in the courtroom. In order to put your best foot forward and give yourself the best chance at an optimal outcome, it’s important to follow these grooming and conduct guidelines for your court date.
Take Out Piercings and Cover Up Tattoos
Your individuality is your business, but it’s not usually looked upon highly in a court of law. Wear clothes that can cover up any visible tattoos on your arms, legs, chest, back, neck, etc. and give you a professional appearance. With piercings, it’s a good idea to remove all of them, leave them in your car or at home, and put them on once your appearance is finished. It is not advised that you wear them in the courtroom.
Arrive Early; Not On-Time
If your court appearance is scheduled to begin at 9:30am, don’t show up at 9:30am. Show up at 9:10am. Regardless of whether or not your attorney or previous experience has told you that things never begin on time, you never want to be rolling in to your appearance late. Not only is this a waste of valuable time, but it’s also a poor reflection of your character, which your defense attorney may be using as part of their strategy to defend you. This will also give you leeway in the event of traffic on the way to the courthouse and a delay to get through the security lines at the entrance.
The importance of this tip cannot be understated. You don’t have to rent a tuxedo for court, but leave your yoga pants, tattered jeans, cargo shorts, halter tops, belly shirts, and flip-flops at home. Think “business-casual” or “formal” for your attire. For ladies, a knee-length skirt and a blouse that’s half-sleeve length at minimum and a conservative top is ideal. Keep your hairstyle civil, and choose shoes that are simple and sensible (no five-inch heels). For gentlemen, a button-down collared shirt is ideal, along with a pair of slacks and dress shoes. Wear a suit jacket if you have one, and a necktie is encouraged. Likewise, make sure your hair is combed neatly. Finally, for both men and women, keep your color palate conservative: black, grey, and dark blue are preferred, with the exception being a conservative but more colorful necktie for men.
Treat the Court With Respect & It Will Respect You
When you are in court, your cell phone should be turned off for the entire duration of the proceeding. This prevents you from being tempted to use it as well as prevents it from making unwanted noise. While court is in session, you should sit quietly and pay attention to who is speaking. Even if you wholeheartedly disagree with a statement being made, do not speak out of turn; that’s your attorney’s job. Odds are they’re planning to raise the objection at the optimal time to make it work in your favor. Lastly, always refer to the judge in your case as “Your Honor.” The court will appreciate the respect you show for it, and will return with respect for your rights and arguments throughout your case.
It is strongly advised that you retain a skilled Modesto criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case. As a former Deputy District Attorney, Mark Girdner has an inside edge of knowledge and experience that he can use to defend you from your charges. Whether you are accused of DUI, a theft crime, sex crime, or any other charge, the Law Offices of Mark Girdner can work tirelessly to protect you and your rights.To discuss your case with an attorney, call the Law Offices of Mark Girdner today at 209-326-1533 and request a free consultation!