How to Present Yourself in Court
Court appearances, whether they are for your criminal trial or for required check-ins as part of your probation or participation in a diversion program, require you to follow specific protocol. Part of this protocol is following the court’s dress code.
You can often find the dress code for the court handling your case on its website. If this information is not available, call the court to ask about the dress code or simply play it safe by dressing professionally.
How you present yourself will impact how the court views you, which is especially important when you are defending yourself against a criminal charge.
Dress Like You Are Going to An Interview
The easiest way to ensure that an outfit is appropriate for the courtroom is to ask yourself if it is appropriate for a white collar interview. Your outfit should have:
Conservative, sensible shoes. This means dress shoes for men and low heels or flats for women;
Dark or neutral colors like navy, black, or gray;
Minimal jewelry. The jewelry should be a complement to the outfit, not a statement piece;
For men, a suit or a button-down shirt with slacks and a sport jacket; and
For women, a suit or a conservative dress. A blouse with a skirt could also be appropriate. Skirts should always fall at the knee or lower.
Speak Like You Are Speaking with the CEO of Your Company
When you are asked a question, answer it fully and clearly. Do not mumble, do not use slang, and do not fidget or look away from your questioner. Your speech is a significant component of your presentation.
Behave Like You Are Trying to Land a Job
Stand up straight, make eye contact with individuals who address you, and follow the court’s rules. Before your court date, talk to your lawyer about the court’s specific protocols, which might be entering the courtroom through one entrance or handling paperwork a specific way. Just like you research a company before going for an interview, research the court before your court date.
Groom Like You Are Trying to Impress
Your appearance is more than just your clothing choices. Your skin, hair, and nails also impact how others view you.
Think about how you would groom yourself to prepare for a date. You would take a shower, brush your teeth, style your hair, and wear an appropriate amount of perfume or cologne. If you are a woman, you might wear tasteful makeup or get a manicure before the date. Treat your court date like a romantic date in this respect—you want to make yourself appear approachable, presentable, and pleasant.
Work with an Experienced Naperville Criminal Defense Lawyer
Your court date can be intimidating. Prepare for your upcoming appearance in court with your criminal defense lawyer’s guidance. Your lawyer is your advocate in all ways, including instructing you about how to present yourself.
To learn more and start developing your legal defense strategy, contact our team of Naperville criminal defense lawyers at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.