Hiring an attorney to defend you on your DUI charge was a smart move, but you should understand that you are an important part of the legal team and that your courtroom behavior could make a difference in the outcome of your trial. Read below for some fast and easy tips to ace your courtroom appearance.
1. There is virtually nothing that happens in the real world that is not also available in the virtual world. Be sure to search out and view courtroom case videos to familiarize yourself with how your day in court will play out. Look for examples in your own state, if possible, to get the best possible idea of courtroom procedures and practices in your locale.
2. Show up looking your very best. You will want to show the judge, the courtroom and the legal process in general your respect, so wear clean, well-pressed clothing. While a suit may not be in your closet, you can still look neat by avoiding showing too much skin (male or female) and leaving the head wear at home.
3. A cup of coffee can lend some much-needed energy and comfort, but avoid bringing drinks or food into the courtroom. A bottle of water may be permissible, however. Avoid chewing gum and mints as well.
4. Be respectful when addressing the judge. Local customs sometime dictate the forms of address, so consult with your attorney for specifics, but generally "judge", "sir", "your honor" or "ma'am" may be used.
5. Answer up when addressed in a clear and moderate voice so that everyone can hear you. Avoid using slang words and never curse unless you are directly quoting someone.
6. Keep your face in a friendly and neutral pose, avoiding eye-rolls, frowns and head shakes.
7. When answering questions on the stand (or while standing at the defense table) address your answers directly to the judge, regardless of who is asking the question. Do not answer unasked questions, ramble or elaborate.
8. Never approach the judge without permission or you could find yourself in contempt of court. Rise when requested and stay seated until you are asked to move to and from the witness stand.
9. When being questioned by the State (the plaintiffs, normally the prosecutor), stay calm and ask for clarification if you are unsure of the query.
10. Rely on your attorney to prepare you for your big day by giving you a run-through of the day's events and some practice sessions of questioning, if necessary.
Showing respectful behavior can impact the success of your case, and being prepared can help you be more at ease, so take these tips to heart and have a successful day in court. Contact legal professionals like Alexander & Associates, P.C. to learn more.