There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to the fate of your court case. While your best bet for achieving a favorable result is by hiring an experienced criminal defense to fight your case on your behalf, there are other factors that can influence a judge’s decision. In today’s blog, we share six tips for your court appearance that may lead to a more lenient decision from the judge.
Keys To Success In Court
Again, these tips are no substitute for a well-executed defense put forth by an attorney, but these tips are great to follow if you hope to curry favor with the judge or jury. If you can’t follow these tips, don’t expect any leniency from the judge in the wake of a conviction.
1. Be on time – Judges hear a number of cases each day, and being late is only going to push everyone’s day back. Being late isn’t going to earn you any favors, so when we say be on time, we actually mean arrive early. This is especially true if you’re not familiar with the courthouse or the courtroom location. Saying that you were late because you got lost isn’t a good excuse. Be at least 15 minutes early for court.
2. Dress the part – You probably aren’t excited about going to court, but you need to dress in such a way that suggests you take this process seriously. Why should a judge go easy on someone who can’t take a few minutes to put on clothes that suggest they respect the process? Business casual is always a safe bet.
3. Silence your cell phone – It’s a good idea to keep your cell phone on silent and in your pocket when you’re in the courtroom. Even if you’re sitting in the audience waiting for your case to be called, be respectful and keep your phone in your pocket. This way you can get a feel for how the judge likes to conduct cases and you’ll be ready when it’s your turn to be called.
4. Pay attention – When you’re waiting to be called or when your case is being presented, make sure you’re paying attention. This way you’ll know when to respond when needed, and it also goes back to respecting the legal process. It’s also going to be very hard to put forth a worthwhile case if you’re not paying attention to the prosecution or the judge.
5. Know what you’re going to say – If you’re putting on your own defense in traffic court, or you’re telling your side of the story during questioning from your lawyer, practice what you’re going to say. Make sure you tell the truth, but know how you’re going to answer questions and what you going to say when asked about certain details. This helps project confidence in your answers.
6. Be respectful to all parties – The correct title is “your honor” when addressing the judge, not sir or madam. But don’t just show respect for the judge, be respectful to all parties, including but not limited to the bailiff, the prosecution and other court employees.
If you can follow these tips, we’re confident that you’ll put yourself in a good light with the court, and that can influence the end result. Being on time and respectful is no substitute for professional legal defense, but it can only serve to help your case. For more tips, or to reach out to an experienced law firm for help with your case, contact Appelman Law Firm today.