Going to court can be intimated and scary, no matter what the reason is. Being prepared for your court date can go a long way and may even make the experience less stressful. It's no lie that finding out you're required to go to court can give you an uneasy feeling, but wouldn't it be easier if you knew exactly how to prepare for it? Here are some tips for preparing for your court date and what to expect.
Going to Court
You've been called in for court, and that dreadful uneasy pain begins to make its way into your stomach. If this is your first time, the pain probably won't go away until the court date is finally through. But, hopefully, I can put it at ease a little bit.
Who will be in the courtroom?
When you enter the courtroom, there may or may not be another trail going on. You will be able to sit in the back and watch the court proceedings while you wait for your case to start. Your hearing will also be public, and others awaiting their trial will be able to sit and watch your proceedings. You will also have a bailiff, a court reporter, and of course, the judge. The bailiff will be in charge of keeping everything in order while the reporter is there to record the proceedings to keep on record. If your case is severe enough or you are unable to sort things out on your own, there may be lawyers there as well.
What happens if I am late for my court date?
If you are running late, you need to do whatever you can to get to the court on time or as soon as possible. This is why you need to prepare in advance and have at least 15 mins to spare. However, to ensure there aren't any problems, be sure to carry the court clerks number so you can let him know you are running late. If you know in advance that you will be unable to show up to court on the specific date, make sure to call the clerk and let him know, to resist any possible problems. Even if you call, you need to know that your request to change the date may be denied. It is also possible that the judge may vote against you or even dismiss the case it if you are the plaintiff.
What to Do Before Your First Court Appearance
It is very common for someone to show up to court and not know how to act and contain themselves. They show up wearing baggy clothes and don't know all the information about their case. This can be very damaging and hurtful for winning your case because it makes you look unprofessional and unprepared. If you want to win your case or get off of being falsely accused, your best option is to look and act professionally and be well prepared for your case. Gather anything and everything you are going to need for your case and have it all in one place that's easy to get to. Then read through your papers and make sure you're prepared for any situation that may come up. It's also great practice to run through all the possible outcomes in your head to know what to say before you say it.
Read Court Papers
While I discussed this in the previous paragraph, it's essential that you read through your court papers so that you know what to expect and what you're being accused of.
Observe Other Hearings
If this is your first time, you probably don't know much about court hearings besides what you've seen in the movies. The best way to be prepared and ready for your court date is to see a real court hearing and observe how the defendants react to certain situations.
Research Legal Issue Pertaining to the Case
One of the best ways to know how to handle yourself is to research other cases that are similar to yours and see which cases went badly compared to the ones that went well. Now you can't always watch the videos of these court hearings, but it's best to do as much research as possible to know how to handle yourself and what can help you win the case.
Visit the CourtHouse Before Your Trail
I don't always recommend visiting the courthouse before your trial because it might make it more nerve-wracking to sit in the courthouse and overthink things. But, it can help you be more prepared for what to expect, and for some, it can even relieve some stress. Decide for yourself what you think would help you be better prepared and have less anxiety.
Plan Your Day Around Your Court Hearing
You don't know how long your court hearing will go or if you'll have to meet back another time as well, so it is best to get a layout of what your day will look like if you finish early or if your hearing ends up going later than you thought.
Plan a Professional Outfit
Plan your outfit and make sure that you are wearing something modest and professional. If you are a man, it's best to wear a tie and suit. If you don't have any of those, wear something professional without holes or tares. If you are a woman, you should wear a professional business outfit or a clean, comfortable dress.
Relieve Stress and Remain Calm
You don't want to enter the courtroom with your heart pumping 1,000 times per minute, so do something to relieve that stress. I'm not talking about going out and drinking some beer with your friends or partying all night. I mean relieve stress by letting out all of your fears of court, and any worries you have let them flow away. You can't change the past, but you have control of the future, and being filled with stress will give you less control. Some ways you can relieve stress are doing meditations, getting a massage, taking a nap, or spending quality time with friends and family.
Let's be honest; you don't want to smell like an athlete coming out of the gym after a hard workout. Not only would that be disruptive and sadly nasty, but it would also give the judge a bad reputation. But, I know not everyone has a place to shower, sometimes those are hard to come by so it might be best to find a stop with some truck stop showers. They aren't just for truckers. Everyone can use them, and most of them are pretty professional if you ask me. Check out the Guide to Truck Stop Showers if you're worried about trying one.
Court Behavior-What to Avoid
I know you're nervous. It's common and very likely that you'd be when going to a court hearing. You might be scared you'll mess up or say something wrong and lose the whole case, but you don't have to be. From entering your court hearing to leaving, here are some of the things you should avoid in court.
Getting Distracted (on your phone or elsewhere)
Being rude or using harsh language
Talking without turn
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