Growing up, we are all taught how to behave at home, in school, around friends, around strangers, but we are never taught how to behave in court as a defendant. This is because we are not expected to ever be in this position. And while we hope you never are, we are going to provide court etiquette tips anyway, because well, life likes to throw us curve balls every now and then.
- Arrive on time, or earlier if possible.
- Do not slouch, stand and sit straight.
- Do not chew gum.
- Remove hats and sunglasses.
- Dress professionally.
- Speak only when prompted to and do so clearly.
- Make eye contact with whom you are speaking to.
- Silence phones and other devices.
- Answer only what you are asked.
- When answering yes or no, say the word instead of nodding or shaking your head.
- Acknowledge the judge as Your Honor.
- Remain calm and respectful.
- If possible, leave your young children at home.
Standing in court is a serious thing and the judge and the jury are watching your every move. Representing yourself immaturely and sloppily will be a point against you.