So you’ve been summoned to court. Whether it’s for a traffic ticket or another charge against you, or a child custody case, you’re now called to face the judge (and maybe jury). You’ve got some time before it happens, and have no idea what’s in store. What do you do in court? What should you prepare?
Well, here’s a few things to consider doing before you walk through those doors:
- Dress well
- Be on time
- Have all your evidence prepared
- Be organized
- Have a general plan of action
Before you head off to court, make sure you’ve got a proper outfit for the big day. Going to court is like going to a job interview: first impressions matter. You’ll want to put in the same respect and effort you would facing a serious employer.
Dress formally and cleanly, whatever your gender. Make sure your clothes are clean and respectful; no wrinkled shorts or sauce-stained shirts.
If the judges and jury see that you’re well dressed and put together, they might view you in a better light right off the bat. Whatever you say afterwards will be jumping off of the shoulders of a tuxedoed giant.
Be on time
Time is precious for everyone. We’ve all been there where we had to wait for a friend that was 10 minutes late. You wait and you wait, wishing that whoever was late would stop wasting your time by not being on time.
The same goes for the judge and jury! Being late can leave a sour taste in their mouth, and gives people the impression that you don’t care. If people think you don’t care about them, then they won’t try to care about you.
Set an alarm clock. Have someone remind you the day before. Arrive half an hour early. Just don’t be late.
Have all your evidence prepared
Your evidence is your lifeline to presenting your side of what happened and getting the judge or jury to believe you, not the other person. The more you have to make your case, the better. So prepare them! Put them in a briefcase, a bag, or a box, and bring them with you to court.
Even if a piece of evidence doesn’t seem that important, still bring it with you! Lawyers can get the judge to keep evidence in or toss evidence out seemingly randomly (though it’s not), so it’s better to have and not want, rather than want and not have. That little extra piece of paper might be the difference between walking away victorious and being handed down a sentence against you.
The key to success in life is knowing where all your stuff is. While that looks different for everybody, it’s vital that you HAVE a system, so you don’t go fumbling around and making yourself look unprofessional.
This goes not only for documents, but for stories, too! Knowing where your story is going is majorly important to presenting your case. If you fumble around with what you’re saying, the judge (and jury) might start to doubt the words coming out of your mouth.
Have a plan for what you’re going to say. Knowing what to say and when to say it can be crucial to winning your case. Make sure you know the key details to your story, and what parts you need to give greater context to.
Have a plan of action
It is important to have your evidence organized to make sure it is easy to locate throughout the process, but it is also important to know in what order you want to use that information. There are two main reasons to be prepared before walking into a courtroom:.
First, by preparing a plan of action beforehand, you make sure to be able to use all the evidence and in a way that benefits your story the most. It would suck to get to the end of the court hearing and realize you left out a piece of crucial information that you had with you.
The second reason would be that this also shows you care about why you are in court in the first place; that you know how to stand up for yourself and are competent and prepared.
If you need help figuring out what that plan is, Your Law Firm is here to help!
Call us today at: 770-580-3699