Preparing for Criminal Court
Preparing for Court
You are facing criminal charges and you are scared. While your future hangs in the balance, it can be difficult to know what to do, how to act, and even what to say. While what you wear won’t necessarily result in a better outcome at trial, every effort you put forth will be noticed by the court.
Talking with your defense attorney will give you a good idea of what can be expected with each court appearance. Being prepared to put your best foot forward not only shows the judge and jury that you care about your outcome but it can also give you a better sense of confidence in your case.
How Can I Be Prepared for a Criminal Court Appearance?
First, leave the legal work to your attorney. When you have put your confidence in a qualified lawyer, he or she will let you know where to be, what time to be there, and what you can do legally to ensure the best possible outcome. However, as the defendant, there are some simple things that you can do to help move the case along in the most seamless manner.
Here are the basics:
- Be on time. For every court appearance and meeting with your attorney. Nothing shows lack of concern like being late or not showing up. Thing come up, we know, but do everything in your power to be present and prompt.
- Dress Appropriately. You should wear something professional looking and respectful of the court. Again, since defendants rarely testify in criminal cases, how you appear and conduct yourself can be the only impression you present to the judge or jury.
- Stay out of trouble. A new charge while you are waiting to go to court will only hurt the court’s opinion of you. When it comes to determining your guilt or your potential success while on probation, things like this are taken into consideration.
- Be respectful. It can be hard to bite your tongue; especially when you feel like you are being disrespected or wrongly accused of a crime. But, biting your tongue may be exactly what you have to do at various stages of the court process. Your attorney will help you make sure your side is heard in court.
Maintaining employment and good standing within community organizations can also be helpful as well. If you have a job, keep it. And if you need a job, find one. The court considers gainful employment a sign of stability.
Follow the Advice of your Attorney
While each decision in the defense of your case is ultimately your choice, a defense attorney is knowledgeable in the unique ways of the criminal justice system. Typically, if your lawyer gives you advice, it is in your best interest to heed it.
Your attorney may suggest you take some proactive measures prior to court. If you are accused of domestic violence, enrolling in anger management courses before the court recommends it will show the judge that you are remorseful and committed to changing. Likewise, attending drug treatment when you are accused of a second or third drug offense can show the court that you recognize your problem and want to get help.
Knowing what to say and how to act in court can be stressful and confusing. If you have a question about the proceedings, where to be, what to say, and even what to wear, ask your defense lawyer. They are your advocate in the criminal justice system and your positive outcome is their priority.
If you are facing charges and haven’t yet retained a lawyer, we can help. Contact our attorneys today for a consultation on your case and some legal advice. With attorneys across the country, we can likely put you in contact with someone in your area, ready to help you.