When a defendant goes to court, impressions matter. Whether it is just the judge or a jury, the way you present yourself in court through dress and actions can make a significant difference in how you are viewed at that specific moment and how you may be viewed in regards to the situation and charges as a whole. In order to help make sure you are showcasing yourself in the best light, here are some tips.
Dress like you’re taking things seriously
It cannot be overstated how easy yet important It is to dress appropriately for court. This is going to be the first impression you are going to make to a judge and potentially jury so you want them to know straight away that you are taking these charges seriously. It is typically recommended to look for darker more somber tones and to wear something similar to what you would wear to a formal job interview. Any accessories should be simple and understated and it’s best to avoid name brand logos so as to not give off preconceived notions about anything. By doing this, you are telling the court that you understand the weight of the situation and that you respect everyone’s time for being there.
Be respectful during the hearing
Speaking of respect, this is probably one of the most vital aspects of making a good impression in court. In fact, doing the opposite can land you in even more hot water. Any type of outbursts, looking bored in court, or just not seeming to care could put your case in a very bad light because it could be assumed that you either don’t care what happens or have not reflected on any wrongdoing. If a defendant gets heated and starts to argue with the council or the judge, they could also potentially be held in contempt which can lead to added fines or even extra jail time.
Get the most out of your time released
The last factor that is heavily weighted when making an impression in court is what the defendant has done with their time while out on bond. If the judge sees that the defendant has been following all their bond conditions, staying out of any further trouble, holding steady employment, or even volunteering, it tells the judge that lessons have been learned or the charges could potentially be just a one-off offense which deserves leniency. This could lead to shorter sentences or in some cases, the avoidance of jail in lieu of community service or probation. If on the other hand, the defendant has been rearrested or cannot really give much description about what they have been doing since release, it can be seen as a red flag.
To sum up, the best way to make a good impression is essentially just to show respect in all forms. From clothes to behavior and actions, these are the best way to show you are ready to move in your life in a positive way!