Going to court can be a stressful experience, especially if you are unsure what to expect. There are various reasons you could be in court, such as divorce, civil suits, or even criminal charges. No matter the reason you find yourself in court, there are five things you should never do in front of a judge.
1. Don’t look like a slob.
Although a judge is supposed to base their judgments solely on the facts, having a clean appearance can go a long way. If you show up dressed in sweat pants and looking like a slob, it could have a negative influence on the judge’s decision. Instead, always be sure to dress nice and have a clean appearance.
2. Don’t start a fight.
Depending on the reason you’re in court, you may find yourself fighting against someone else. Words and accusations are going to be made, and it’s important that even if the information is untrue, and no matter how bad it may hurt, you keep your cool. Starting a fight with someone else in court because you let your emotions get the best of you will not end well for yourself and not do any good for your case. Not only will the fight cause you to get locked up, but the judge will now see you as a violent individual, and this could be detrimental to the result of your trial. Instead, keep your cool and work with your lawyer to prove that the accusations and information are untrue.
3. Don’t ignore the judge’s orders.
During trial, the judge is going to tell you to do certain things, such as stand at certain times, call you to testify, and so on. Make sure that you follow these rules and don’t ignore the judge. If you refuse to stand or respond to the judge, it could have a negative impact on the result of your case. You do have the right to plead the fifth, so if you are called to testify, you can always plead the fifth so you don’t have to talk.
4. Don’t talk back to the judge.
When you are in court, you likely want the judge to take your side or rule in your favor. You can do this by being polite. If you talk back to the judge, or if you are rude to the judge for no reason, it will hurt your case. No matter what the judge may say or what your personal feelings about him or her may be, bite your tongue and act appropriately.
5. Don’t arrive in court intoxicated.
If you arrive in court under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it will not end well for you. Not only will you have wasted the judge’s time, but you will likely be retained. Make sure that you stay sober before your court appearance. If you can’t prove to the judge that you can stay clean for a trial, he or she will not have much faith in you doing so in the future, and this could hurt your chances in court.