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Proper courtroom etiquette is important

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Just about everyone has seen a television show or movie where a character is speaking to a judge, but it is not the same as being in the actual courtroom. It can be pretty intimidating, particularly when facing criminal charges for the first time. Good criminal defense attorneys will prepare their clients for the formalities of being in court. Still, it does not hurt to be prepared.

Important things to remember

Courts will often publish rules for courtroom etiquette, but here are some crucial points to remember:

  • Respect the judge in their courtroom: The judge is in full command of the court, and those who question that control could be held in contempt, nor is it a good idea to annoy or irritate the person who weighs the validity of a defendant’s case and the severity its penalties. It means such basics as standing when the judge enters and sitting only after the judge sits. Generally, it is best to refer to the judge as “your honor” when addressing them.
  • Proper attorney behavior: Regardless of how aggressive they protect their client, the defendant’s attorney will follow all formal norms of courtroom etiquette even when the judge makes a mistake or misspeaks. They do this because it is the rules, and it is in their client’s best interests.
  • When speaking: Do not interrupt the judge or a lawyer if they talk. Try to answer truthfully and speak clearly.
  • Pay attention: While a defendant’s lawyer will do most of the talking, it is in the defendant’s best interests to keep quiet but pay attention.
  • Proper behavior by others: It is great to have the support of friends and family in attendance, but those who do not follow the rules for conduct may not be allowed to stay.

Attorneys know what to do

Experienced criminal defense attorneys spend a lot of time in court. They will likely even know the likes and dislikes of certain judges based on their past experienced. Their guidance in the courtroom can make a tremendous difference, so it is essential to follow their advice. If something does not make sense, ask them to explain it. After all, their job is to serve all the client’s legal needs.