Experiencing an arrest and being faced with possible jail time is upsetting and scary. You want the best outcome possible, but must first attend trial in a courtroom to hear your verdict or receive a possible sentence. At trial, a judge or jury will hear the facts of your case and determine your guilt or innocence.
Because your trial court is so important, you must make a good impression on those involved. Here are some key points to help you make a good impression on your court date.
Show Up at Your Trial
After your arrest and booking, a trial date is set for you. But first, you have the opportunity for a bail hearing to determine whether you can be released on bail until that trial date arrives. Unless a judge believes you are a flight risk or a danger to the community, you can post bail and go home.
Believe it or not, some offenders choose to jump bail and not show up at court. One study found 25 percent of felony defendants failed to appear for their scheduled court date. Skipping your court date sets a bad precedent and makes you appear untrustworthy, unreliable, and possibly even guilty.
Skipping bail has other negative consequences too. You lose your bail money or collateral and a judge issues a warrant for your arrest. You could face additional charges, such as failure to appear in court. Any future bail amounts may increase, or you may be denied bail entirely.
Conversely, showing up at your trial demonstrates you take your bail conditions seriously and are willing to cooperate with the court. The judge will recognize your good intentions when you appear in court the first time and don’t require an arrest warrant and a second or third court date.
Show Respect to the Judge and Court
The judge in his or her court is a significant judicial authority figure, and the courtroom is a formal, serious setting. Members of the jury as well as witnesses, attorneys, and court officers all demonstrate courtesy and respect while inside the courtroom or in the judge’s presence, and you are not immune.
One of the best ways to make a good impression while you are in court is to show respect to the judge and court. You do so by your appearance, actions, and words.
Appropriate dress for court is business casual, such as slacks, a skirt, and a dress shirt. Tuck in your shirt and wear a belt. Sloppy or indecent clothing may make you seem irresponsible and careless of societal norms and authority. Additionally, remember to take off your hat and sunglasses while inside the courtroom.
Arrive to your scheduled court date on time. Inside the courtroom, remain calm and be polite to others. As the judge enters or leaves the room, always stand in respect. Also, stand respectfully whenever you speak to the judge.
What you say in the presence of the judge matters. Never speak to the judge unless he or she asks you a direct question or you first ask permission to speak, and address the judge as Your Honor. During your trial, speak calmly and clearly. Avoid slang, swear words, and any other rude language. Speaking respectfully shows sincerity and confidence.
The bail system is partly designed to help you get out of jail so you can better prepare for your upcoming trial date. If you or a loved one needs a reliable bail bondsman before trial, call Affordable Bail Bonds We can help you pay your bail and make good impression when the time is right.