Lucky are you if the only courtrooms you’ve seen are those on television or movies. Naturally, you want to stay clear of things that could land you in front of a judge and jury, let alone prison. But the future is uncertain and things can unravel in a way that does not favor you. So, in case bad things happen, here are a few tips to mull over before you take that seat in court.
Choose Formal Wear
What to Wear
The court is a formal setting; hence, respect it and be as formal as you can. When thinking of what to wear in court, think of Sunday mass. What do you wear to church or during formal occasions? A suit with tie is a good choice for men. So are proper jackets and long-sleeved button-down shirts. Trousers, khaki pants, and other formal pants are alright. Women should wear something that’s conservative and formal, like a nice dress with a jacket, a business suit, or a formal top paired with an equally formal pants or skirt. As for footwear, always think closed toe shoes. Accessories should be minimal.
What Not to Wear
When you digress from formal wear, there may be some acceptable outfits, while some may be really unacceptable. It is, for instance, a disadvantage for women to wear very sexy outfits to court, like sleeveless or spaghetti strap tops or overly tight blouses or dresses. Attires that show the bellybutton are also frowned upon. For men, it’s a no-no to wear t-shirts or muscle shirts, or ragged tops. Jeans and shorts are not recommended too, and anything that you use for sports or for exercise is not apt as well. When it comes to footwear, slippers, strappy sandals, or flip-flops should not be worn.
Hide Tattoos and Piercings
If you’ve been inking yourself just for the fun of it, consider hiding your tattoos if ever you’ll be appearing in court. Most judges disapprove of tattoos, and some members of the jury may also have a problem with your inked self. So, wear clothes that will cover your tattoos, like long sleeved formal shirts, jackets, and, of course, formal pants. If your body is pierced, remove all your piercings however sensational you believe these may be. Remember, each person has a preference, and it’s best to conform to what most people like while you are under trial.
People with eyeglasses often look nerdy, ingenuous, and harmless. Therefore, if you want to convince the court to favor you, wear eyeglasses. This evokes some sort of subliminal message to a judge and jury. It subtly tells them that you’re innocent; that you’re not likely to commit a serious crime. But make sure that you also wear apt clothes because your eyeglasses alone won’t be able to carry your entire look, especially if you carelessly show up in court in your sloppy outfit that displays your bloody-knife tattoo for all to see.
Other Reminders Regarding Courtroom Etiquette
– Always be on time. Don’t ever let a judge wait for you or else you could become a target of displeasure.
– Don’t mutter or appear like you’re not paying attention. Trials can go on and on, and, yes, these things could get boring. But before you pull out that magazine your itching to read, don’t. Always appear attentive. It lets them know that you’re interested in everything that’s going on.
– Always be respectful of the presiding judge. Stand when needed and sit down when told to.
- Photo courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Claire Duvall is a freelance blogger. She writes for several legal sites, including ElliotSavitzLaw.com. Elliot Savitz is a criminal defense lawyer who can help you deal with your legal woes.