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What NOT to Do When Going to Court

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When appearing in court you are expected to follow certain rules. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to make sure you do not miss your court date. Failing to appear in court can result in serious consequences such as having a default judgment entered against you or having a bench warrant issued for your arrest. Unless your absence has been excused by the court, it is in your best interest to show up when expected.

Another thing that a lot of people forget is that the courtroom is a professional and serious place. As such, dressing appropriately is expected. Although there are no written rules on how you should dress, certain clothing is just not acceptable. Be sure that whatever you plan on wearing is clean and on the conservative side. Lawyers are required to wear suits, but you don’t have to dress quite this formally. Use your common sense, and don’t wear anything that can draw negative attention to yourself.

During your hearing, be sure to approach the judge and anyone else of higher authority with respect. You must stand and address the judge as “Your Honor” and refrain from speaking over them. If you are asked a question, do not just nod, answer verbally. Speak clearly and loud enough for the courtroom to hear you and get to the point. Avoid using profanity or any other remarks that may be inappropriate. Do not speak with gum in your mouth. Many people find it very disrespectful when they are spoken to by someone who is chewing gum while talking.

Be prepared. Know your case. This way the judge will know that you are taking the case seriously and that way, he or she will take you seriously. Have all of your paperwork organized and accessible and be ready to provide anything that your lawyer or judge might need.