Show Your Respect at Your DUI Court Appearance

When a DUI lands you behind bars, you will need a criminal defense attorney on your side. The punishment for this serious offense can range from jail time and fines to losing your license and having an immobilized vehicle. Your attorney will do their best to fight the charges and have them reduced, but you must do your part as well. If a plea agreement is not in the works, you will need to appear in court to face the judge. Read on for some tips on how to best show your respect to the court for your DUI appearance.

Prep for the day 

While your attorney will help prepare you for what to expect, you can also do some due diligence on your own. We've all seen how court cases appear on popular television shows, but the real thing may be surprisingly different. Do a bit of online research to familiarize yourself with how real-life courtroom dramas unfold. If you can find DUI cases on YouTube in your state or district, then take a look at those. Additionally, review the facts of the case by re-reading the arrest report and other evidence.

Dress to impress

Appearing as though you've recently rolled out of bed is not recommended. It's not necessary to spend money on new clothes so long as you have something appropriate, clean, and pressed to wear. Avoid showing too much skin or wearing graphic tees. Hats and other headgear are usually forbidden in courtrooms, and keep in mind that you must pass through a metal detector to get into the building where your case is being heard.

What not to bring 

You should bring your best attitude, but you should consider leaving some things at home. Food and drink are not allowed in the courtroom, but you may be able to bring in a bottle of water. Gum may help relieve anxiety but can appear disrespectful as well. Breath mints may be okay, however. Unless you have no choice, the courtroom is no place for your children.

Know how to address the court 

Most judges are fine with being called "judge." You might also refer to them as "your honor." Additionally, speak up clearly since your words are being recorded and you don't want to annoy the court and the court reporter by mumbling or using gestures instead of words.

Know how to respond to questions

Speak directly to the judge when answering questions, even if a jury is present. Never speak without being asked a question, never ramble on, and never answer questions that have not been asked.

Being respectful to the court may or may not matter in your case, but it can never hurt to make a good impression. For more information, contact a DUI attorney like those at Thomas & Associates, PC