If your court appearance for your DUI is approaching, you are probably a little nervous and unsure of what to expect. Here are a few tips to help you put your best foot forward:
Be on time
You will be required to go through security, and depending on the line, this could be a quick process or take a little extra time. You are not allowed to bring any types of weapons (including pepper spray), cameras, liquids, powders or markers, into the courtroom so be sure to leave these behind.
Leave your house with plenty of time in case there is traffic. Leave plenty of time for parking and finding the courtroom.
It is a good idea to arrive at least 20 minutes early so you can guard against any impediments that arise and so you will have time to speak with your attorney before your case.
If you are late, you stand the risk of aggravating the judge, delaying or even re-scheduling your case and increasing your attorney fees.
Make a good first impression
The way you dress and act does make a difference. You should wear a clean, nice outfit. Something you may wear to church on Sunday morning. Coming to court in shorts, wrinkled shirts, or suggestive clothing sends the message that you do not care and will not be willing to change your behavior. Some other things to avoid wearing can include jeans, expensive jewelry, shaggy facial hair, crazy hairdos, flip flops, body piercing (other than ears), hats and t-shirts.
Conform your behavior in court
There are certain things that are frowned upon in DUI court proceedings. For example, there is no talking in the courtroom while the judge is on the bench. Here are a few other things to remember:
- Don’t speak directly with the Prosecutor. Rely on your attorney to communicate and deal with the Prosecutor on your behalf.
- Do not bring any food or drinks into the courtroom.
- Do not chew gum.
- Avoid negative reactions during the proceedings. This may apply more to the actual trial. Do not think that you can communicate your displeasure or disagreement to the judge or jury through your body language. Loud sighs, exaggerated eye rolls or staring at anyone other than the judge does not convey innocence; it only shows a lack of self-control. Your attorney will object if it is appropriate.
Do not leave without consulting with your DUI attorney.
You may think that you have 3 minutes to run to the bathroom, but ask your attorney first so he knows where you are at all times. When your hearing is over, don’t leave until you have a conversation with your DUI attorney. He will tell you what your next step should be and if you have future court dates scheduled.
A good DUI attorney can make all the difference in a successful challenge to your DUI.
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