If you have an upcoming court date, you may be stressed about the outcome or ensuring that you get the win. Whether you are representing yourself or have a lawyer representing you, you need to have the judge hear you out and the jury listening to your side of the story. If you are not adequately prepared for your court date, you can lose the focus you need and face distraction that will deter away from the message you are trying to give.
Make sure that you are fully prepared for your day in court by following the five tips found below.
1. Find an Attorney
No matter what you are going to court for, the best way to prepare is to hire an attorney who can represent your case and present your information for you. If you are facing issues with labor laws, hire an L&I lawyer who knows the ins and outs of these concerns. If you face a criminal charge, whether it be a misdemeanor or a felony, contact a criminal defense lawyer who will be sympathetic towards you. Attorneys are there to ensure that you get the best results you possibly can and to share the message that you need to present.
2. Get Organized
Whether you have a lawyer or are going to court by yourself, you need to get all case information organized prior to your court date. Make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork that you need and that you have all documents that contain pieces of evidence for you. This will help you to stay focused, and if you have an attorney, it will make their jobs just a bit easier. Staying organized will also help the judge and jury to see that you are passionate and fighting for your innocence or for the case you are there for.
3. Dress Professionally
You are taken much more seriously in court if you wear the appropriate attire and dress professionally. Make sure that your outfit is modest too so that everyone in the courtrooms thinks highly of you and can take you as seriously as possible. Consider putting on a suit, whether that be a pants suit or even a suit that contains a skirt instead. Make sure you are well-groomed by brushing your hair or wearing it back, and by only wearing minimal jewelry and makeup so that it is not distracting or overwhelming.
4. Learn Coping Techniques
While in court, you will likely feel anxious as you are thinking about the outcome that you will receive. If you show signs of anxiety, however, some judges and jury members may find that these signs are a showcase of guilt, when in reality, in some cases, that is simply not true. Try to learn basic coping techniques so that you can remain focused and calm no matter what is happening in the courtroom. Consider grounding techniques where you identify objects in the room to keep you focused, or utilizing breathing techniques that are not too obvious.
5. Know the Rules
Finally, when you arrive at the court, you want to know what you have to do. Research the judge that will be presenting your case so that you can know a bit about how he or she operates in the courtroom. Try to arrive at your date an hour early so that you can calm yourself down and get your documentation together as aforementioned. Finally, make sure that you do not bring any metal or your cellphone in so that it does not seem as if you are trying to evade the jury or the judge.
As soon as you receive the notice in the mail or at your door for a court hearing, you need to start making the preparations above. Do not wait until the last minute as this will only increase your anxiety and your stress. Often, judges and jury members rely on their first impression of you to make the final call, so be sure that you are ready to impress in the courtroom. This will help you gather the best outcome possible, which is even more likely if you have an attorney who is in your corner.