Your experience with the court system may be limited to courtroom dramas, leaving you without the proper knowledge on how to conduct yourself. You may be wondering how to present yourself in court, what should you wear, and what should you say.
You have to keep in mind that judges are human too, and how you conduct yourself can help or hurt the outcome of your case. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, how you behave in the court can impact the judge’s opinion on how to treat you. Contact our Asheville DUI attorneys today.
If this is your first time appearing in court, here are some handy tips to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible.
Hire a Lawyer
As you’re probably aware, you have the option of representing yourself, but for many jobs, it’s best to hire a professional. By hiring a lawyer, you’ll have representation that knows the system. An experienced lawyer can help guide you with additional tips on how to present yourself in court.
Be on Time
Do everything you can to avoid being late. Just to be extra cautious, you should attempt to arrive early. By showing up early, you’ll be placed at the head of the queue, since most courts operate under the first-come, first-served rule. The courts will usually hear cases that are being presented by attorneys first as well.
If circumstances beyond your control impede your attendance, call both the judge’s clerk and your attorney to inform them of your predicament.
So, on the day of your court hearing, aim to get there on time, because, if you miss your hearing, you may find yourself with a warrant for your arrest.
Mind your Appearance
When presenting yourself to the courts, you want the incident you’ve been charged for to seem like a one-time thing, not a common occurrence. You don’t need to attend in a three-piece suit, however, you don’t want to come in unkempt, torn jeans and a t-shirt. For men, you’ll want to show up in with slacks and a tie on a collared shirt. Ladies should avoid any revealing clothing or provocative clothing.
You will want to be polite and respectful to everyone in the court. When you’re in the courtroom, there is someone watching you at any given point, and the judge will notice how you treat those around you and in their staff. Being discourteous is an easy way to make your day harder and can potentially influence the rest of your life.
Even if you’ve shown up early for your case, you may still have to wait through several hearings before it’s finally your turn. While you’re waiting, try to remain silent. If you have to speak, such as if your attorney is asking you a question, then either respond in a hushed voice or step outside of the courtroom. If you need to leave the room for any reason, do so as quietly as you can, as not to disrupt the current proceedings.
Being loud and drawing attention is an easy way to get on the bad side of the judge.
Control Your Emotions
Appearing before the court can be stressful, especially if this is your first time in front of a judge. After all, your immediate future is about to be impacted in some manner. You may get discombobulated when speaking to the judge, so before you speak, take a moment to gather your thoughts and relax.
You want to remain as calm as possible. Avoid contemptuous glares, laughing, smiling, and snide comments. If the judge or prosecutor starts saying things that rile you up, avoid showing any signs of anger. The goal is to present a calm demeanor void facial expressions, especially ones that suggest you’re not taking the proceedings seriously.
Remember, an impassioned speech or yelling at the judge has never been in a defendant’s favor.
Addressing the Court
When addressing the bench, always use ‘Your Honor.’ This may be your case, but you’re not the star of the show. You should remain quiet until you’ve been requested to speak, and when you do speak, you want to make it succinct and heard clearly in the microphone.
If this is your first time standing before the court charged with DUI in Asheville or anywhere in the State of North Carolina, then it’s understandable for you to be nervous. There are a lot of intricacies and formalities that need to be considered when dealing with the court system. This is why it’s best to retain an experienced lawyer to help you through the process. Call Asheville DUI defense lawyer, today at 828-759-5556 or fill out our confidential contact form and we can help you get the best results for your case.