Do’s & Don’ts During Your DUI Trial
Getting arrested and charged with a DUI can be an emotional experience. You may feel angry and upset or you could feel guilty and depressed. It is important to leave these emotions at the courtroom door and create a good impression. You need to understand what is expected from you as the defendant and what you should and should not do in court.
How To Create The Best Impression In Court
1. Your Appearance
Your professional DUI defense attorney will have to defend your character in court to reduce the penalties that you face. It is important that you look at the part of an upstanding member of society. Wear clean clothes that have been pressed. Business attire is preferable – a suit for men and slacks and a blouse for women. Wear appropriate shoes – no sandals or flip-flops.
Avoid clothing that is too revealing and rather be conservative. Although your unique style may be important to you, the court may not have the same opinion. Remove piercings, cover tattoos and choose a more conservative hairstyle for court day. Although this advice may bring out the rebel, remember that the charges against you are serious and that putting your best foot forward for one day can make a real difference to the outcome of your court hearing or trial.
2. Manner Of Speaking
Address the judge as “Your Honor” and refer to them as sir or ma’am when answering any questions they pose to you. This will show that you have respect for the judge and the position that he or she holds. Pretend that you are at the most important job interview of your life. If you misunderstand, ask politely for the judge to explain. Don’t speak unless the judge asks you a question or you are requested to. Your DUI lawyer is there to speak on your behalf. Don’t shout or speak loudly, don’t curse or swear and try not to use slang.
3. Your Body Language
Body language can speak volumes about your character. Don’t slouch – stand or sit up straight. Don’t cross your arms as this can be perceived as a defensive position. Keep your emotions off your face and try to maintain a neutral expression. Avoid looking angry, hostile, or bored with the proceedings. Stand when you speak to the judge and then sit down again. Don’t use exaggerated hand gestures and look at the judge when they are speaking to you or when you are addressing them. If you are unsure about how to behave, watch how your lawyer acts.
4. Your Demeanor
Your demeanor is how you behave or the outward appearance of your feelings. In court, your demeanor should reflect the seriousness of the charges against you. This is not a laughing matter and if aren’t serious, the judge may take this as a sign you need to be taught a lesson and impose a harsher sentence. Remember that you are there to clearly and calmly state your case in an effort to avoid a conviction or to reduce the penalties that you face. Most judges have seen and heard it all and aren’t interested in long tirades or showing off.
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