Making An Impression: What To Know About Your DUI Court Appearance

Posted on: 13 October 2017


Being arrested for driving under the influence is a serious matter, one that requires the help and expertise of a criminal defense attorney. Once you have that important legal advocate on your side, you are ready for your day in court... or are you? Your behavior and appearance can go a long way toward improving your chances of success that day, so read on to learn more about making a good impression when you go to your DUI court appearance.

Be prepared: You might be surprised at what you can learn from looking at YouTube videos of DUI court cases. Be sure to search for those that take place in your state, so that you can be familiar with what happens. These cases often move quickly, but there is a lot to be learned from viewing them. Pay attention to courtroom etiquette, such as when to stand, when to come forward, and how defendants (you) answer questions from the judge. You may notice that sentences can vary greatly depending on how these question-and-answer exchanges proceed. You can also check with your defense attorney for some tips on how to behave and how to answer the judge's questions during your time.

Dress for success: It pays to look respectful in front of the judge and the prosecution, so take some extra care with your appearance that day. It's not necessary to run out and buy a new suit or outfit, but do make sure that you are clean, your clothes are pressed, and that you are, overall, looking appropriate. For men, a suit is always impressive, but you can look perfectly respectful with a collared shirt tucked into nice pants. Avoid jeans, t-shirts, tanks, and shorts. For women, go with a nice skirt, a dress, or a pants outfit, any of which is not revealing. Everyone should leave the headwear at home, unless you are wearing it for religious reasons.

Addressing the judge: Keep in mind that you must remain respectful of the judge at all times, regardless of the case outcome. You could find yourself facing additional contempt of court charges if you speak out of turn or display bad behavior. You may want to observe how others are addressing the judge, or ask your defense attorney, but in most cases you cannot go wrong with using "your honor" or "judge." Make sure you speak up when answering questions, since your voice and words are being recorded; head nods won't do. Keep your answers to the point, don't answer questions that have not been asked, and don't ramble on and on. Face the judge when you are speaking, not the attorney asking the question. 

For more information, talk to companies like the Law Offices of Alyson L. Sommers, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorney.