While your best bet for getting good legal advice during a DUI case is to turn to your defense attorney, you can also do yourself a big favor by preparing for that all-important moment in front of the judge. Court appearances can be nerve-wracking, but somehow just knowing what to expect when you get there can relieve those nerves. To help you make your day in court a big success and fight your DUI charge, read on for some vital and simple to follow tips.
1. Learn Court Etiquette
Get familiar with court processes, etiquette, and procedures by searching online. Try to find recorded examples of DUI cases that are close to your home, since the way things unfold can vary quite a bit depending on location and venue.
2. Dress to Impress
The court and the charge you are facing are serious, and your wardrobe choices should reflect that. This is not the time to show what a fun person you are; it's the time to show your respect for the judicial process and the court. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money or go out and buy new clothes, however. Just make sure that you are clean, pressed, and appropriate for the occasion. Leave graphic tees and flip-flops for another day, and stick to conservative neutrals with full coverage.
3. Throw Out Your Gum
Gum chewing is an excellent way to dodge those nervous impulses, but that's a really bad idea in court. Don't bring food, drinks, or gum with you inside the courtroom. A bottle of water may be okay, depending on the rules posted outside of the door.
4. Respect the Judge
If you get the opportunity to speak directly to the judge, you cannot go wrong using the words "judge" or "your honor." Only speak to the judge if spoken to first, and never approach the bench or the stand or leave the courtroom without permission from either the judge or your attorney.
5. Speak Up
Remember, your spoken words are being recorded by the court reporter, so speak clearly, moderately loudly, and avoid using head gestures to answer questions. Another thing to avoid is making faces, which the judge can interpret as being disrespectful and rude. The idea is not to annoy the judge.
6. Work With Your Attorney
A court appearance can be thought of as a team effort between you and your attorney. It is not unheard of for your legal team to prepare you to face questioning by holding court practice sessions beforehand. Remember to take your time when answering questions from either the judge, your attorney, or the prosecution. Don't get rattled and ramble; stick to answering the question and only the question.
Speak to a law firm, like Walter Bailey Law Firm, for more tips on having a successful court appearance for your DUI charge.