felony lawyer

What To Expect When You Go To Court

Going to court is an intimidating experience, especially for those who have never been there before.  Knowing what to expect can help make you less anxious and even lead to a better outcome.  Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from a felony lawyer:

Before Court

  • Meet or at least speak with your attorney.  He or she should be happy to answer any questions you have about what to expect.  They should also usually be able to give you some idea of what’s going on with your case.
  • Gather anything you have that might help your case.  This includes things like photos, documents, or witness statements.
  • Double check to make sure you know exactly where you’re going.  Plan for extra time to find parking, get through security, etc.

On The Day Of Court

  • Dress appropriately. Wear the nicest clothes you are comfortable in.  If you own a suit, this would be a good time to break it out.  You want to aim for conservative and neat.  Far too many people show up to court for their DWI case wearing a Margaritaville T-shirt.  Poor apparel won’t lose your case, but it can cost you the benefit of the doubt.
  • Arrive 30 minutes early.  Security checks and finding the correct courtroom can take much longer than you might realize.  This is one of those times where it is much better to be early than late.
  • Each courthouse is different, but in many courthouses the security line is basically like airport security.  Don’t take anything with you that you don’t need, and most definitely don’t bring weapons or anything illegal!
  • Courthouses can be large and confusing.  Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.  Most courthouses have large digital screens that show which courtroom your case is scheduled in.
  • Silence your phone.  If you have a device that vibrates loudly even when on silent, turn it all the way off.
  • Be polite and respectful to everyone.  The last thing you want is to be rude to some lawyer in the elevator as our friends at Archambault Criminal Defense will advise, only to find out later on that the lawyer is the prosecutor handling your case.  The same goes for everyone else too – you never know who might be in a position to have an impact on your case.  Court staff might not be able to impact the result in your case directly, but they might be able to impact how long you wait to have your case called.
  • Stay seated and quiet.  If you must talk to someone while waiting for your case to be called, do so quietly.

After Court

  • Your lawyer should take time to fully explain to you what happened and what will happen next.  If you have questions, now is the time to ask them.  Don’t be afraid to speak up!
  • If the judge ordered you to do anything (such as attending classes, checking in with probation, etc), do it!  Trying to finagle ways out of court orders rarely ends well.  It’s much better to simply comply.  This almost always works out better in the end.

Court is scary, but it doesn’t have to be.  Being prepared and understanding the process will make things much easier and smoother for you.  Your attorney is (or at least he or she should be!) your best resource.  They know how the process goes and can guide you through it.  But remember – the way you act and present yourself in court can influence the outcome, so always act with respect and seriousness. If you have an upcoming court date, contact a lawyer near you for help.