How to Make a Good Impression at Your Court Date
When it comes to your court date, you want to be sure that you leave a good impression on the judge and the jury. This isn’t to simply make them like you — it will ultimately help you with your case, show that you take the situation seriously, and can help your lawyer present your case. Read on for more useful information on how to make a good impression at your court date, and for assistance with your case and preparing for court, reach out to our criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of David Howard in Miami today.
1. Dress Professionally
To leave a good first impression on the judge, the jury, and everyone else in the courtroom, you will want to present yourself nicely by dressing professionally on your court date. Not only does this help show that you respect the courtroom, but it also shows that you are taking this matter seriously. Regardless of the case, it is important to dress appropriately for court.
This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit and tie or a fancy dress, either. But there is a significant difference between a button-down shirt and a pair of slacks compared to flip-flops, sweatpants, and a T-shirt. You want to present the best image of yourself possible to the court — not only will this help to leave a good impression, but it will also help your criminal defense attorney in his or her representation on your behalf.
Suit and tie
A sports coat
Clean dress shoes, such as Oxfords
A long-sleeve button-down shirt with a collar and slacks
Be sure to wear a belt or suspenders to keep pants up
A nice, mid-length dress
A woman’s business suit
A conservative pants suit
A professional top and long slacks
Closed-toe flats or short heels
2. Be Honest
While you are trying to prove that you are not guilty, you never want to get caught up in a lie. And while it may be tempting to stretch the truth at certain times, the prosecution is often good at untangling webs of lies and will not help you with achieving a good outcome to your trial.
In order to prevent yourself from feeling the need to lie in court, work with your criminal defense attorney to prepare your argument before you go to court. This way, you are able to present your case in a way that is both convincing and honest and will also give the impression that you are a responsible, sharp person.
3. Show Respect for the Judge
Keep in mind that the judge is the person who will ultimately decide the fate of your case, so you will want to address them with the utmost respect. He or she will be much more likely to give you a better outcome if you show respect. A good rule of thumb to follow is to treat them as you would treat someone that you admire, such as a favorite teacher, supervisor, or speaker. A great way of showing this respect is to be polite, use a kind tone of voice, and answering the judge’s questions with “Yes, your Honor,” or “No, your Honor.”
You will also want to be sure to look at the judge in the eyes as you speak to them and never roll your eyes or perform other actions that show disrespect. Body language can be one of the easiest ways to show disrespect without even realizing it, so be sure to practice this if needed before your court date.
4. Show Respect for Others
You will also want to be sure to show respect for other people in the courtroom, including all legal personnel such as court officers, clerks, and the opposing party.
5. Keep Your Emotions in Check
While it’s natural that you are going to feel strong emotions during your court proceedings, reacting in a calm manner can help you make a good impression and overall help your case. During court proceedings, be sure to keep a neutral facial expression as much as possible, and when you feel your emotions heighten, breathe deeply, and count to ten before responding to someone.