Five Courtroom Behavior Mistakes To Avoid
First-time defendants in criminal defense cases are often not familiar with courtroom behavior norms and standards.
The more you know about courtroom etiquette, the better your chances are of getting a favorable verdict in your case. By avoiding the following five common courtroom mistakes, you can improve the impression that the judge and jury will have of you during your courtroom appearances:
Not putting time into preparing
A courtroom appearance is a lot like giving a presentation or speech in that preparation is typically important.
It's a good idea to ask your lawyer to go through a practice run with you so that you're prepared for exactly what's going to happen in court.
If you'll be questioned at your hearing, see if your lawyer can ask you some sample questions to prepare you for what you can expect.
Talking too much
When you're answering questions as a criminal defendant, it's a good idea to be as brief as possible.
You don't need to give away any more information than that which is necessary to answer the question. Any additional information you give away could potentially be used against you. Learn to answer questions in as few words as possible.
You'll want to dress decently and modestly during your courtroom appearance. As a rule, you should try to wear clean clothing that is in good condition.
However, don't go overboard. You don't have to wear a full business suit for your courtroom appearance unless you dress this way on a regular basis. Overdressing for a courtroom appearance could make you come across as desperate or phony. Dress to appear responsible and natural.
Not making eye contact with the judge and jurors
It's not uncommon for defendants to feel timid and worried when appearing in court. However, it's important that you overcome any feelings of apprehension before your appearance.
Making eye contact with the judge and jurors is important to avoid looking guilty. If you keep your eyes cast down and your overall demeanor is devoid of confidence, you may subconsciously be perceived as guilty in the minds of the jurors.
Appearing in court can be tiring and monotonous. However, it's important to be constantly reminding yourself of the gravity of the occasion.
You need to be on high alert throughout the appearance to avoid any slip-ups that could compromise your case. Make sure that you get the sleep you need before your appearance, and eat a good meal so that you won't be distracted by hunger. Contact a lawyer like one from like Hart Law Offices, PC for more information.