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Going to court to defend yourself against criminal charges is serious. When you are in the courtroom, the outcome of your case and, sometimes, your future lies in the hands of the judge or jury.

Because of this, you want to make a good impression. Part of making a good impression is following proper courtroom etiquette.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we work to prepare our clients for court, including helping them present themselves the proper way. Some etiquette tips that will go a long way for your day in court can be found here.

Turn Off Your Electronic Devices

There are signs in almost every courthouse in the area (and the country) that prohibit the use of phones inside the courtrooms. Even though these signs and warnings are seen everywhere, phones are regularly going off and disrupting the proceedings.

In some cases, the judge may even get so frustrated with this that they charge the guilty party with contempt of court. This isn’t uncommon and is something that has happened in the past.

Don’t Take Tobacco, Gum, Drink, or Food into the Courtroom

In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for attorneys and judges to smoke a cigarette or cigar in their chambers. In some cases, this even happened during the trial. Today, though, gum, drinks, food, tobacco, and other items like this are prohibited inside the courtroom. You should also leave your e-cigarettes at home.

Wear the Right Clothing

When you go to court, you need to dress in a way that shows respect and dignity – for yourself and the court. Don’t wear t-shirts with offensive pictures or words, cut-off shorts, caps, low-cut blouses, or spandex to court. Wearing pajamas isn’t a good idea either.

It’s also worth noting that there are some courts that have stricter dress codes than others, so it is best to know ahead of time what is expected.

Stand When the Judge Enters

The judge presiding over your case is the “authority figure” in the courtroom. However, they also represent the law. It is respectful and expected that you stand when they enter. When the bailiff says “all rise,” be sure to stand up to show your respect for the judge, court, and law.

Don’t Take Your Kids to Court

In most situations, the courtroom is not a place that children need to be. Not only will they have to sit quietly for an extended amount of time, but in some situations, the topics being discussed aren’t always kid friendly.

In fact, there are many jurisdictions that forbid children from being in the courtroom. Also, daycare service isn’t provided. Because of this, you need to make sure you have arranged for childcare on the date you are supposed to be in court.

Don’t Engage in “Inappropriate” Behavior

Remember, when you are in court, especially for a criminal charge, it is a serious place. You need to show respect for the authority and dignity of the court. Falling asleep, propping your feet up, and rustling newspapers is not respectful.

Avoid Outbursts in the Courtroom

It’s not uncommon for emotions to be high when you are in the courtroom. After all, the verdict or decision of your court case (especially for criminal charges) can change your life. Even though this is the case, part of courtroom etiquette is refraining from outbursts, facial expressions, or gestures.

Protecting Your Rights in Court by Following Proper Courtroom Etiquette

As you can see, there are a few things you should and should not do when in court. If you want to make a good impression and set yourself up for success, then following the etiquette tips here is highly recommended.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we are ready to help ensure you represent yourself well in court. We will go over proper courtroom etiquette and ensure that you don’t make any missteps that may hurt your case. Our goal is to help you achieve the most positive outcome for your criminal case possible.

Read More:

Understanding the Criminal Process in Colorado

The Possible Impact of Social Media on Your Colorado Criminal Case


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