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How to Conduct Yourself in Court

If you have to go to court, your behavior and how you conduct yourself in the courtroom can have an impression on everyone in the courtroom, including the jurors and the judge. It is extremely important to know how to act throughout the court proceedings. The following tips will ensure that you make a good impression on everyone present.

Be On Time

You should never be late for court. In fact, you should arrive at least 15 minutes before the hearing is set to start. Although many judges tolerate lawyers who arrive late for a court hearing, simply because it is common for hearings to be held back-to-back and potentially run over, they do not tolerate defendants who arrive late. In some situations, if you are late for a hearing, a judge can revoke your bail and issue a warrant for your arrest and/or remand you into custody. Not only will arriving on time earn you respect from the judges and attorneys, but it also allows you time to get familiar with the surroundings.

Dress Appropriately

Regardless of what you are being charged with, it is critical that you dress appropriately for your court proceedings. You should dress in the type of clothing you would wear if you were being interviewed for a job or attending church. Women should typically wear a dress or a pantsuit with closed toe shoes. You should never wear flip-flops, low-cut blouses or shorts. Men should wear dress slacks, a dress shirt, and a tie. Many courtrooms actually have a ban on certain types of clothing. If you show up in these items, you may be asked to leave the courtroom, which means rescheduling the hearing and risking a charge of contempt of court. Not only should you dress appropriately, but it’s also important that you’re  properly groomed. Take a nice shower that day, make sure your hair is in place, remove any facial piercings and do your best to cover up any visible tattoos.

Be Respectful

You may not have perfect etiquette, but it is essential that you show respect for the court and be polite. For example, address others as sir or ma’am and always address the judge as “your honor.” It is important that you not speak out of turn and do not interrupt the judge, your opponent, the attorneys or anyone else that is speaking. Wait your turn to be heard, and answer all questions directed at you honestly and politely.

One of the most difficult things to do is to control your emotions when the judge makes his or her decision, yet it is one of the most important things to do while in the courtroom. You should not express either your disagreement or your gratitude. Simply stay quiet after the judge makes their ruling. Do not make faces during the court proceedings. The judge and the jurors will be aware of it and it may be taken as disrespectful to everyone in the courtroom. Before leaving the court, make sure you understand what the next steps are, but do so in a respectful manner.

For more information on how to conduct yourself in a courtroom or to inquire about a bail bond, contact Free at Last Bail Bonds.

Bail, Bail Bond, Behavior, Court, Court Proceedings