If your time has finally arrived to have your DUI case heard in court, then you are likely feeling apprehensive about how to present yourself when you go to the courthouse. Since it is important that you present yourself well and do not give the judge or jury any reason to form a bias against you, follow each of these tips for presenting yourself appropriately in a criminal court setting:
Tip: Prepare for Court in Your Attorney's Office or the Hallway, Not in the Courtroom
The time to prepare for your case with your attorney is not in the courtroom, the correct time to do so is either at your attorney's office before your court date or in the hallway before the time you are due in court. Once you and your attorney enter into the courtroom, you should only speak to each other if necessary. You should sit quietly at the defense table and pay attention to the proceedings. Your cell phone must be turned off and put away in your purse or pocket because it is never appropriate for you to be on your cell phone in a courtroom.
Tip: Pay Attention and Show Interest in Your Case
From the moment you enter the courtroom and sit down, you need to pay attention and show interest in your legal case. If you act like you really don't care what happens in your case, then you will likely find that things don't go as well for you as you expected. Instead, sit in your chair without fidgeting, face forward, and listen to everything that is said in the courtroom. This shows the judge and jury members that you care about what is about to happen in your life.
Tip: Know Exactly How You are Expected to Act on the Stand
If you will be testifying in your DUI case, then there are specific ways you should act on the stand as well. After you have been sworn in by the baliff, sit in the witness chair and always look directly at the person who is speaking. When you are asked a question by one of the attorneys or the judge, answer in a clear voice that is free of any emotion. Avoid using any slang words like "yeah" and instead opt for using the more formal "yes".
If someone asks you a question that you do not understand, you should politely ask to have the question repeated or clarified. Once you understand the question, take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond. This pause shows that you are ensuring that you tell the court accurate information and are trying to be as honest as possible.
Finally, if you are asked a question that makes you upset or angry, rather than acting out or answering in an emotional way, ask the judge for a short recess to gather your thoughts. For more information, visit websites like http://www.chichesterlaw.com.