Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
How to Behave in Criminal Court

How to Behave in Criminal Court

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is likely you will have to appear in court at some point in your case. Just as in life, first impressions can make a substantial difference. Courtroom etiquette is important for making such an impression on the judge, prosecutor, court personnel, and jurors.

The following are several tips for making a more effective appearance in court:

  • Arrive early – Be punctual and avoid arriving late for court. Courtroom personnel look down upon those who are tardy for their own cases, and they hold the ultimate sanction for tardiness, such as booking your case last or subjecting you to police custody. Try to arrive early in order to anticipate traffic and parking conditions, as well as familiarize yourself with the courthouse and get ready for your hearing with your lawyer.
  • Be polite – Show respect for the courtroom by dropping the negative attitudes. Address the judge as “Your Honor,” “Sir,” or “Ma’am” in order to convey respect. Do not argue, raise your voice, curse, or use slang. Speak only when instructed or given permission and do not interrupt anyone at all costs. Ensure you speak clearly and present an image of a model citizen. Remember, only one person speaks at a time, so don’t speak out of turn. Turn off your cellphone. Do not eat, drink, or chew gum.
  • Be aware of your body language – When you’re listening to testimony, maintain a poker face so that you don’t let the opposition know what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling. No matter what you hear, do your best to resist the temptation to shake your head, roll your eyes, exhale loudly, or utter something nasty or sarcastic in response. Pay attention to the proceedings and make eye contact with those who are speaking to show you are listening.
  • Speak with your lawyer outside when the hearing is over – Once the hearing is over, you’ll want to discuss what just occurred with your attorney. You must immediately go outside of the courtroom and wait to talk to him/her. If you stay at the counsel table and expect your lawyer to talk, it is considered inappropriate since remaining at the table interferes with an order in the court.
  • Maintain your dignity – In conclusion, hold your head high. Although you may have been charged with an alleged crime, you are still human. Do not let the judge or the prosecution rob you of your self-worth.

If you have any questions on how to present yourself, contact our Kansas City criminal defense attorney at Stein Law, LLC for experienced legal representation. We will be able to you not only present yourself in the best manner possible, but also present the best defense strategy possible and help you obtain the results you desire.

For more information about our legal services, contact us and request a free initial consultation today. Get 25+ years of collective legal experience on your side immediately!

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