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Houston Criminal Attorney » Discover How To Increase Your Chances Of Being Successful in Court

Houston Criminal Attorney Charles Johnson

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When you are going to court, it generally isn’t simply because you WANT to go, but rather you HAVE to go. If you are going in for a criminal defense, it would be in your best interest to be well prepared and informed BEFORE you enter those doors. The following are guidelines that are highly suggested that you follow in order to have a successful time in the courtroom and put the percentages far better to your favor within the eyes of the court.

Dress Code

When in court it is in your very best interest to look your very best for the judge, jury, prosecutor, and yourself. It emotionally can help you in court with your case and can improve your odds of winning if you look like you’re really serious about the courtroom proceedings and play the part.

People who head to court in shorts and sandals will not receive the same treatment that a person in a suit or nice dress might receive. It looks, at least to the court that you have absolutely no interest in being there and that is certainly regarded as disrespect to the court.

The following is appropriate dress code for the genders:

For Women

  • A nice dress or women’s business suit. At the minimum, a blouse and a skirt which is NO MORE THAN two inches above the knee.
  • Panty hose
  • Dress shoes or heels
  • Hair neatly groomed
  • Jewelry: Same as for men. A ring and a watch. Nothing else.
  • Perfume: Again nothing that’s too strong and do not bathe in it. No one wants to smell you!
  • Nail Polish: Keep it simple. Colors that aren’t acceptable are neon’s and brightly colored nails. If you can avoid it, don’t wear any polish beyond a clear coat or perhaps the French manicure is suitable.

Again, the idea here is you are looking for the judge and any other people deciding your fate to look at you with as much respect as possible regardless of what you are in the courtroom for.

For Men

  • A dark suit is preferred. If a suit is not available, then slacks and a white shirt and tie at the minimum!
  • Hair well groomed and neat. Should you have long hair, make sure it is tied back and combed back.
  • Do not bathe yourself in strong cologne. This is not a club and no one wants the distracting smell of another in court.
  • Jewelry: one ring (wedding band) and a watch, if you have either.

The point here is you want the judge and any type of various other men and women deciding your fate to look at you with respect regardless of what you’re in court for.

In the courtroom the following are advised as far as behavior and procedure are concerned:

Only respond to questions that you’re asked in a direct manner.
Prosecutor: “Do you have the time?”
YOU: “Yes.”
Prosecutor: “What time do you have?”
YOU: “11:00 a.m.”

In this example you were asked a question, and the response was EXACTLY what should have been given. Never volunteer information without first consulting your criminal defense attorney about this beforehand. Prosecutors exist to trip you up and get you to admit important things in order to aid their case, and they are generally pro’s at what they do. Don’t help to make it easy for them. They are NOT your friend, and they don’t have your very best interests in mind 110% of the time.

When sitting in court do not place your elbows on the tables at any given time. Sit up straight and look attentive at all times, unless you are injured somehow. Slouching is certainly a sign that you do not care about what is going on and you’d rather be home or doing something else and the court will treat you that way but definitely not in your favor. Pretend you are on television in front of the world and you need to look your very best.


This is possibly the most abused item in the courtroom besides dress. Again you must remember you’re not at a get together with your buddies. You are in a courtroom. If it is a criminal matter, someone wants a reason to put you away. DON’T Provide THEM ONE! Speak English as correctly as you are capable. Use of slang is not going to help you in any way.

The judge is not your “bro”, this individual is your honor. The D.A. or Prosecutor is not an old pal, and should be addressed as sir.

Additional Etiquette

  • Always be punctual.
  • Do not speak during the proceedings while court is in session.
  • Don’t bring books to read or magazines.
  • Do not wear a hat in a courtroom EVER!
  • Don’t wear sunglasses unless you have a condition that is medically proven to hurt your eyes in light.
  • Remain in attendance until excused. All persons seated before the bar shall remain there during each session and return following recess. Parties and counsel ought to remain in attendance during jury deliberations; absence waives the right to attend the return of the judgment.
  • Dress with dignity.
  • Address others only by their titles and surnames, including lawyers, witnesses, and court personnel.
  • Avoid approaching the bench. Counsel should anticipate the need for rulings and discuss them when the jury isn’t seated. Whenever a bench conference is unavoidable, obtain permission first.
  • Hand to the clerk, not the judge or reporter, all things for examination by the judge.
  • Stand when the judge or jury enters or leaves the courtroom.
  • Conduct no experiment or demonstration without permission.
  • Make no side-bar remarks.
  • Request the use of easels, light boxes, and other equipment well in advance so that they may be set up while the Court is not in session.

Following these basic simple rules and procedures, you greatly enhance your chances of winning in court. These are unwritten guidelines, however over the years people appear to have forgotten them.

If you have additional concerns or are unsure about any of this, speak to the Most Effective Houston Lawyer BEFORE you go to court.

In the event you or a family member is charged having a crime in the Houston region, contact us for a free consultation with a successful criminal defense lawyer from the Charles Johnson Law Firm. Attorney Johnson is able to provide compassionate legal counsel, accessibility and personal attention, years of experience, and aggressive protection of your rights.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
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