If you thought being sent to the principal’s office in middle school was intimidating, imagine your first court day. Prosecution is trying to pin a crime on you and your lawyer is trying to prove your innocence. The judge and the jury are trying to decide which side they believe based on what they hear. However, what they see is also going to sway their thoughts so knowing how to conduct yourself in court is important too.
• Dress like you are going for an interview.
• Remove sunglasses and hats.
• Do not chew gum.
• Turn cell phones and pagers off.
• Sit and stand straight.
• Enunciate. If a question requires a yes or no answer, speak those answers verbally instead of nodding or shaking your head.
• Speak only when spoken to and answer only what you are asked.
• Do not grow angry and argumentative.
• Trust your lawyer.
• Arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of your appointment.
• Use the restroom beforehand.
• Address the judge with “Your Honor.”
If you take this matter seriously and show you are willing to handle this process maturely, the judge and the jury will see that. Now let’s just hope your lawyer builds a good case for you.
Until court, a defendant can bail out of jail so they can return to live at home. Posting bail makes it easier for the lawyer and defendant to meet and prepare for court.