If you're facing criminal charges, you will be making one or more court appearances. Showing up on time and on the right date is very important. Missing a court appearance can even result in a bench warrant issued for your arrest, even if you have a good reason for being late. Here are a few suggestions to make your experience less stressful.
Take a Test Run
Before the day of your court appearance, consider running through how you plan to get to court on the day of your appearance. Just because your online map says it will take 15 minutes to get to the court does not mean there won't be additional traffic, accidents, or a line to get into the parking lot. If taking a bus or public transit, plan for delays for situations that are beyond your control.
Taking a test run will help you figure out the best route and get a better idea of how much time it will take to travel to the courthouse. Once you know how to get there, consider your options for parking at or near the courthouse. Even if the courthouse has a parking lot, the parking lot may be full on the date of your court appearance. Consider alternative transportation or parking options. By planning this ahead of time, you reduce the stress you feel on the day of court.
Add Additional Time
If your court appearance is at 9:00 a.m., don't plan on arriving at 9:00 a.m. You may have to wait in line to go through security, which could take some time. No matter how ready you may be to go through security, you have no control over the people in front of you, who may not know the procedures, which could slow down the line. You will also have to find your courtroom, which may take a few minutes. Give yourself some additional time to reduce stress.
Dress with Care
Before you come to court, some care should be taken considering what you wear. It's an unfortunate fact that people do sometimes judge books by their cover. Additionally, court is a solemn proceeding. By dressing appropriately, you are communicating to the court that you respect the court, the judge, and the proceedings.
As a starting point, there are things you should never ever, ever wear to court. This includes T-shirts with slogans on them, cut off shorts, and flip-flops. If you have a suit, it is appropriate to wear it to court. However, a suit is not required for a court appearance. If you are a male, a pair of dress slacks and a button-down shirt will make a good impression. If you are a female, a button-down shirt or blouse with a pair of slacks or skirt is appropriate. Care should be taken to make sure skirts are not too short. Whatever you wear, your clothes should be clean and presentable.
If You Are Charged with a Crime
If you are charged with a crime, you need an attorney well-versed in criminal law. The Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq., can provide you with a lawyer who has years of experience handling criminal cases. In addition to facing potential jail time and fines, many criminal charges have collateral consequences if there is a conviction, including driving restrictions and the loss of your rights to own a firearm.
Kensley R. Barrett believes clients should be fully apprised of the potential consequences in any given case. That's why he takes the time to meet with clients one and one to discuss the unique facts and circumstances of their particular case. If you are looking for an experienced criminal defense attorney who listens to you, contact the Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq. today. We look forward to meeting with you. Call today.