How to Behave in a Courtroom

Text-only Preview

How to Behave in a Courtroom /
At Wasatch Defense Attorneys, we know that preparing for an upcoming trial can make you anxious about the
impending proceedings. When preparing for any court session, how you act at tr ial can be as important as what is
said. To make sure you put your best foot forward, follow the tips below on how to act during your trial.
Dress Appropriately for Court
How you dress often makes the first impression, and that is true for the court as we ll. During a trial, it is important to
look clean, professional and neat. When considering your outfit, it is also importa nt to choose something
comfortable since you may be sitting for a long time. So, if a suit makes you uncom fortable, it is best to avoid it.
When making your clothing selection avoid anything that may stand out or negat ively draw attention and make sure
to cover up tattoos as best as possible since many jurors associate a negative c onnotation with them.
Basic dress should include:
Button down shirt or blouse
A pair of slacks or skirt
A suit or dress if you can wear them comfortably
Stay Calm Throughout the Entire Proceedings
During your trial, you may hear testimony that seems outrageous and you know is a lie. You may be tempted to
speak out in your defense, but you must control your anger and remain as calm a s possible. Any outbursts in
court, even if they seem justified, will reflect negatively on you. You will also want to remember to rem ain calm
while you are being questioned. Even if the prosecutor seems to be attacking you , you need to stay polite and
reserved when answering your questions.
If you tend to be an anxious person and fidgety when your nerves get going, it is pe rfectly acceptable to ask for a
pen and paper during court to be able to write, doodle, or draw to be able to release your anxiety. The jury will most
likely assume you are taking notes or asking your attorney questions and this be havior will not seem out of the
Always Have the Jury in Your Mind
During your trial, you need to be aware of the jury through every aspect of the proc eedings. They are the ones there
who have to process all the information they gain from the court and come up with a decision at the end. Your
nonverbal interaction with them, as well as direct action with those in the court, w ill all factor into their decision of
who you might be as a person, so it is important that you don’t give them any reaso n to think negatively of you.
When the jury is in the courtroom:
Never roll your eyes
Don’t laugh even if a joke is made
Use manners when interacting with the court including “please” and “thank you .”
Don’t interrupt or talk over someone
Make eye contact
Try not to look intimidated when questioned
Don’t show embarrassment
Act as though you understand the gravity of the situation being presented at court
Follow Your Attorney’s Advice When Testifying
Your defense attorney will walk you through the testimony process to prepare you for what may be asked and what
to expect during questioning. At this point, they will also lay down rules that you should follow during your
testimony. It is important to all advice they give you. They are the professionals, and they know what things can
derail a testimony quickly.
When testifying, you should keep your answers to the point and only respond to th e question asked. There is no
need to embellish or give information that was not directly asked. Even though the prosecutor may come after you
aggressively, do not get defensive and don’t act sheepish as though you have something to hide. It is also i mportant
that when you speak, you speak slowly and clearly so that there is no confusion on your answer. Additionally, you
always want to make sure to address the court as “Your Honor.” Formalities are very important to follow in court.
If you need a defense lawyer in Utah, c ontact the criminal defense advocates at Wasatch Defense Lawyers for
your free, confidential case review.