One question that we get a lot from clients is what do I wear to court? While this does not seem important it actually is. The Judge or Justice of the Peace who is sitting in the courtroom that day will form an opinion of you on sight. It’s like the saying, “you only have one chance to make a first impression”. You want to walk into the courtroom looking presentable. That does not mean you have to be wearing a suit and tie. A clean pair of pants and a collared shirt is all that is required. And make sure that you do not wear a hat. We usually tell clients that if you would wear it to church it is acceptable to wear to a courtroom. Dressing properly helps for a few reasons.
First, if the presiding justice or judge sees someone who looks proper they will be less inclined to start questioning. This is very different of an accused who walks into a courtroom and is, as an example, wearing a hat. The judge WILL say something and right off the bat they will be displeased. It is about treating the person at the front of a courtroom with respect and by not doing so, it may hurt any future requests or arguments that defense council makes. I’ve been in courtrooms where judges have become angered by people who look unkempt. Then their lawyer will ask for something and the judge will not grant the request. By doing something as simple as wearing something nice you could save yourself and your defense counsel lots of headaches in the future.
Second, dressing properly also speaks to your character. A well dressed person shows the court that they are taking what has happened very seriously. This is very important. If a court feels like you understand what is happened and you are invested in the process, things will go very smoothly. You do not want a decision maker to form an opinion of you based solely on how you look.
In the end, what you wear to court is ultimately up to you. You will not be found guilty based on your clothing. No decision maker would form a verdict based solely on appearance. But with these little tips that have been provided, right off the bat you can tip the scales in your favour when asking for a small request from the court. At Capulli Law, we are always looking out for the interests of those charged with an offence. Whether you call us or just use this writing piece as a guideline, we want to ensure that your matters in court are decided on the merits of your case and not on your appearance.