Tips for Getting Through Your First Appearance in Criminal Court
If you were charged with a crime, you will have to appear in front of a judge and make a plea. It’s perfectly normal to feel normal about your first court appearance. However, if you prepare ahead of time, it won’t be as scary. Here are some tips for getting through your first appearance in criminal court:
Arrive in Time
Leave your home a little early so that you make sure you’re on time for your court date. The judge frowns upon individuals who are tardy to their court dates. If heavy traffic or something else is keeping you from arriving on time, be sure to call the courthouse and let them know. If you don’t let anyone know that you will be late, the judge could issue a warrant for your arrest.
Even if you believe you have been falsely accused of a crime, it’s important to always be polite in court. Treat all court personnel with respect and don’t argue with anyone. When talking to the judge, address him or her as your honor. Being polite to everyone goes a long way.
What you wear matters in court. If you are dressed like you are going to the beach, it may be seen as disrespectful. While you don’t have to wear a suit, a shirt and tie and black slacks will look nice. Do not wear anything revealing. Opt for dress shoes or casual leather shoes and make sure your clothes do not have any holes in them. Avoid wearing hats. If you are dressed well for court, the judge and other court personnel may treat you better.
Hire a Lawyer
Walking into a courtroom without legal representation can be very scary and is not recommended. An experienced criminal lawyer can prepare you for your court date and coach you on what to say. He or she can explain the kinds of thing the judge will talk about during your court date so that you are less surprised. Your lawyer will be there by your side and prevent you from saying something in court that could potentially hurt your case.
Do not Interrupt
When the judge or prosecutor is speaking in court, do not interrupt them. Even if you do not agree with what they are saying, interrupting is seen as disrespectful and could make the judge see you in a bad light.
If you follow these tips, your first court date should be a little less nerve-wracking. If you have not already hired a criminal lawyer Hartford, MD, respect to represent you, schedule a consultation with one today. Getting charged with a crime is a serious matter and experienced criminal lawyer can help build you a strong defense and protect your rights. He or she can improve your chances of getting your charge reduced or dismissed. Many criminal lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by speaking to one about your case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal law.