When you go to court, your future is in the hands of people you have never met who will be judging your testimony on events they did not experience. Both sides of the case will be heard by the judge, who will then make a ruling based on the facts at hand. Making a good impression is vital for winning your case, and the following tips will help you do this.
Wear the Right Outfit
Going to court is not the same as attending a fancy party, but it does require that you dress nicely. Clothing should be clean and pressed, and shoes should be polished. Pull your hair back from your face, and limit jewelry and makeup. Being well-groomed and dressed respectfully will work in your favor with both the judge and the jury, as it shows you care about the case and its outcome. A disheveled, indifferent, or cocky appearance will never work in your favor, even if you are legally in the right.
Be Completely Prepared
You may need to get on the witness stand to give your version of events and to answer questions. The best way to get through this without a hitch is to be prepared. A good attorney will gather facts, present objectives and thoroughly go over your story for consistency. You should be able to anticipate any question that may arise from the opposing counsel. Reply calmly with the facts, especially if you are being baited into an emotional reaction. Credibility is very important to a judge.
Engage in Appropriate Conduct
The majority of your time in the courtroom will be spent sitting and listening to others speak. This can be dull, but you must pay attention at all times. Do not slouch or fidget in your chair, and do not use your cell phone to send messages to your friends. Most importantly, do not laugh or make faces during an opposing testimony, even if the person speaking is not telling the truth. This behavior can make a judge view you unfavorably. When addressed directly by the judge, reply by adding “your honor” to the end of the sentence.
Legal issues and going to court can be very intimidating, but following the tips above will ensure your case goes as smoothly as possible, so you can make a favorable impression to all those present. Make sure to contact a professional at Appleton Criminal Defense Attorneys or a similar firm if you need representation.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.