If you are a defendant, how you behave in front of the judge and jury can
either help or hurt your case. It is important to demonstrate proper courtroom
etiquette to make a good impression in criminal court.
If you are not familiar with proper courtroom etiquette, the following
are several guidelines to ensure you act your best when facing criminal charges:
Arrive to the hearing on time – It is best to show up to the courtroom at least 15 minutes before
your scheduled appearance. However, being 30 minutes early can help you
better prepare for your case with your attorney. This will give you enough
time to anticipate unexpected situations, such as traffic and parking
Be aware of your court case information – Ensure you have knowledge of the date and time of your hearing,
your case name and number, and the department of your assigned case. Ensure
you have copies of any documents you are required to submit. Just because
you have a lawyer on your side, doesn’t mean you leave all of the
work to him/her.
Dress appropriately – As we discussed in
What to Wear in Court, wear clothing that is considered professional and appropriate for business.
Avoid wearing casual or revealing attire.
Turn off your cellphone – Not only can a ringing cellphone be a major disruption, but your
phone can also be confiscated by the bailiff. Ensure your cellphone is
turned off or at least set on silent mode. Even a vibrating cellphone
can be distracting.
Stand when the judge enters the courtroom – When the bailiff says “all rise” as the judge enters
the room, show respect by standing until the judge says to be seated.
This is intended to show respect for the criminal justice system. You
must also stand when the judge leaves the courtroom.
Keep your emotions in check – Although the courtroom can be a highly emotional place, it is important
to avoid making any type of facial expression, gesture, or outburst when
the court is in session. When spoken to, always address the judge as “Your
Honor” to show respect. Never interrupt when someone else is speaking,
no matter what they say.
If you are interested in experienced legal services in Bryan or College
contact The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. today.