05 Jan Armstrong’s Tips: Appropriate Courtroom Etiquette
First impressions are extremely important, and nowhere is this more true than in the courtroom. Once a person is released on bail – either by paying the bail amount themselves or hiring a bail bondsmen to supplement the bail amount for them – they must return to court to face the judge and answer for their alleged crimes. However, many people who return to court don’t realize that the courtroom has certain rules, both spoken and unspoken, about how a defendant is expected to act, talk, dress, and behave. To help clients receive the most favorable treatment from the judge and court officials, Armstrong Bail Bonds recommends adhering to the following suggestions regarding courtroom etiquette.
Interacting With The Judge
When speaking to the judge, many people fail to grasp this simple fact: in each case, the judge represents the law itself, and he or she has the power to determine your fate and future in a very real and definite way. Whether or not you believe the judge deserves it, show your respect by using the formal “your honor” when speaking to the judge, and never interrupt the judge when he or she is speaking. Also, courtroom etiquette dictates that all people stand in the judge’s presence until told to take their seats.
Your Personal Appearance
Just like when a person is applying for a job or trying to attract a member of the opposite sex, looking professional goes a long way to securing a favorable outcome. Though not everyone has access to expensive clothing, simply wearing a pressed, collared shirt (for men) or a conservative dress (for women) will show the judge that you respect his or her courtroom enough to dress accordingly. Jeans and suggestive clothing should be left in the closet on the day of your court date, and if possible, make sure your hair is brushed and your fingernails are clean and trimmed.
How You Conduct Yourself
The times you will be scrutinized most harshly will probably be when you’re speaking directly to the judge, but that doesn’t mean that no one is paying attention to you the rest of the time you are in the courtroom. And yes, court can be long and excruciatingly boring, but defendants wishing to find favor with the judge should never read a book, play sudoku, or take out their cell phone at any time during their court appearance – in fact, unless there is a pressing reason why you must keep your cell phone with you, better to leave it at home or in the car during your court date. Arriving to your court appearance on time is another way to find favor with the judge; showing up late is a serious breach of courtroom etiquette, and your show of disrespect will likely be noted by courtroom officials.