How Should I Dress and Act in Court?

The facts of your DUI case and your choice of representation are the primary determining factors of how your case will go in court. However, those clients who want to do everything they can to ensure a positive outcome can take a more proactive stance by making sure they properly present themselves in court. How you dress and behave can not only demonstrate respect to the criminal justice process, but also show the judge that you are taking your charges very seriously.

Whether a hearing has been set or a criminal trial is approaching, I like to impart the following attire and conduct advice to all my DUI clients before proceedings begin.

Dressing for Court

  • Men: Suit and tie if possible. If not, business casual is also acceptable. Avoid jeans and sneakers.
  • Men: Facial hair is fine, as long as it is kept neat and trimmed.
  • Women: Pants suits are encouraged. If not, sensible blouses and skirts are acceptable.
  • Women: Avoid excessive makeup. A conservative/natural look is okay.
  • All black or overly bright outfits are discouraged.
  • Hygiene is important. Shower and make sure your hair is neat.
  • Keep jewelry to wedding rings and watches. Anything else is excessive.
  • Remove all facial piercings.
  • If possible, conceal any tattoos.

Conducting Yourself in Court

  • Always be early: Do your best to anticipate traffic, parking, and other commuting obstacles. It is likely you will have to wait once you reach the court, but arriving early is always a necessity.
  • Turn off your phone and any stored personal devices.
  • Refrain from chewing gum or any snacks.
  • Remove loose change or anything that could make noise in your pockets.
  • Always pay attention to whoever is speaking.
  • Only speak when addressed—never interrupt.
  • Always address the judge as "Your Honor."
  • Address others as "sir," or "ma'am."
  • Avoid the use of profanity or slang when you speak.
  • Stay attentive and be polite to all—even the prosecutor.
  • Remember to remain calm.

These are general tips appropriate for all hearings and court dates. For more specific advice about your court date, speak with your attorney.

Have you been charged with a DUI? If so, then time is of the essence. I have dedicated my firm, Dichter Law Office, PLLC, to the defense and advocacy of those accused of DUI and DUI-related offenses. For more than a decade, I have provided creative, exhaustive, and dynamic defense strategies to my clients' and regularly utilize a private investigator to challenge the state's evidence against them. Each and every individual who comes to my firm can rest assured that every possible defense avenue will be explored on their behalf.

Don't hesitate. Call my firm to retain a Lynnwood DUI defense attorney ready to fight for you.

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