How To Dress For Your Dallas County Court Appearance
So you’ve got your court date, you’ve made arrangements to get to court on time, and you know exactly which courtroom you need to be in.
Nope, not yet! How much research have you done on courtroom etiquette? None? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
How you present yourself in court is very important – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! This is especially true if you are appearing for a trial. Did you the way most people are treated or perceived is more than likely based on how they’ve presented themselves? First impressions are very important, and also very hard to change later. If a person presents themselves in a negative light, i.e., appearing unkept, conversation littered with foul language, etc., that person will most likely be perceived as ignorant and unintelligent. On the other hand, if a person has a clean appearance, has obviously taken time in their personal hygiene, and can carry on a normal conversation, then that person will most likely be perceived as someone with reasonable intelligence. Notice I said “normal” conversation. No one is expecting you to be a rocket scientist!
These perceptions carry over into the courtroom with the judge, prosecuting attorney and most importantly, with the jury.
You’ve heard that phrase “Attitude Is Everything.” Well, that is certainly true inside a courtroom. Your attitude and demeanor can go a long way in influencing the outcome of your trial. So in order to help you prepare for your day in court, here are some helpful tips:
Do show up to your court appearance early -this way if there are any unforeseen problems like unexpectedly having to spend 30 minutes trying to find a parking place, or you get to the courtroom and find the room and floor have changed. Or maybe your attorney is counting on you being their early enough for them to go over important last minute details before the start of court. You just never know – so make sure you’re there early.
Do arrange to get to court on time – if you don’t have your own personal transportation, be sure to make arrangements with someone to take you to court. Also have a back-up just in case that person forgets or doesn’t show up as promised. Basically, just be prepared.
Do dress appropriately – don’t wear clothing that is revealing, has slang or inappropriate wording, is ill-fitting (too big, baggy, sagging or too tight) or is not clean. Don’t bring caps or hats to court, and if you do, be sure to take it off before entering the courtroom.
If you own a suit, then wear it. If not, then make sure whatever you do wear is appropriate for court. You should be well groomed, have an appropriate hair cut and minimal jewelry. Do NOT show up in court with “grills” or looking like Mr. T! Dressing appropriately lets the judge know you are taking your case seriously, and that you have respect for the judge and the legal proceedings. If you have specific questions on whether or not the attire you do have is appropriate, ask your attorney.
Part II coming soon.
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