The courtroom can be an intimidating place, which makes it all the more important to be aware of what you shouldn’t do when you’re there.
If you’re currently involved in or anticipating legal proceedings, avoid these five things you should never do In the curt of law as much as possible.
Doing so could increase your chances of having an ultimately negative outcome.
1) Don’t speak until your lawyer tells you to
It’s important to know that the words I plead the fifth may not be a safe defense against self incrimination. When speaking to police officers, it is best to say as little as possible.
Anything you say can be used against you and anything you don’t say cannot be used on your behalf.
In addition, there are many ways for prosecutors to use your silence against you during trial.
They could tell the jury that if you had nothing to hide then why didn’t you speak up? They could also argue that if you had something to hide, then why did you say so much?
There are even situations where prosecutors have argued a defendant was confessing guilt because they remained silent when they otherwise would have said something.
Another thing you shouldn’t do is disrupt the court proceedings by yelling or refusing to stop talking when asked.
You also shouldn’t interrupt the judge with objections or demands before being told to by your lawyer.
If someone else tries to speak for you without consulting with your lawyer first, just ask them nicely to stop doing so.
2) Don’t interrupt the judge or opposing counsel
Don’t interrupt the judge or opposing counsel. This will make it seem like you’re impatient and don’t care about what’s being said. Wait for your turn to talk.
Don’t make assumptions about the judge or opposing counsel. Just because someone is wearing a robe doesn’t mean they know how to handle your case.
Don’t assume that just because they are from one particular background means they can relate to your case better than another lawyer.
It’s more important to find an attorney who can properly represent you and your needs than an attorney who shares your race, gender, or any other characteristic.
Plus; Don’t give up: Lawyers might tell you that there is no hope left.
Remember, it is their job to show why there is no hope left so they can win the case for their side. That does not mean that there is no hope.
Always keep fighting for your rights even if the odds are against you! You deserve to have representation when facing such adversity.
Keep fighting for justice and always look at the bright side of everything!
3) Don’t show up late
It’s important to show up on time for your court hearing, or the judge will likely continue the case without you.
If it’s impossible to make it to your scheduled hearing, make sure that you call the courthouse before it starts and explain why.
There may be some exceptions depending on your circumstance. For example, if you’re getting ready to go into surgery or have just been put into jail then they might allow you an extension.
4) Don’t try to represent yourself:
The only people who should ever appear in front of a judge without legal representation are those with enough knowledge about the law so they can competently argue their own case, which is rare outside of highly specialized areas like patent law.
Anyone else would be at serious risk of saying something ignorant or inappropriate that could end up hurting their cause.
Don’t talk out loud during the proceedings: Unless you want the other party to know what your side’s strategy is, keep quiet and let your lawyer handle all communication with the other side.
Speak up when answering questions from the bench but don’t say anything more than necessary.
Let others finish speaking before jumping in, even if you disagree completely with what was said.
You’ll find that this rule makes discussions much more productive because everyone gets a chance to speak uninterrupted instead of competing against each other for airtime.
5) Don’t wear inappropriate clothing
Wearing clothing that is too revealing may not seem like a big deal to some, but it can be distracting to jurors and officers.
It also is disrespectful to the judge and other people in the courtroom.
You want your testimony to be taken seriously, so dress appropriately.
✓ Don’t give false testimony:
Giving false testimony on purpose could land you with serious consequences including jail time, fines, and probation.
✓ Don’t argue with the judge:
Arguing with a judge will not only result in your point being missed or dismissed, but it will most likely get you into trouble as well.
If there’s something you think he/she made a mistake about, just speak up after their decision has been made instead of arguing during the trial.
6) Don’t bring food or drink into the courtroom
- Bringing food or drink into the courtroom is rude to everyone who has to sit through your trial.
Plus, it’s very unprofessional and may even be against some court rules.
If you need something to eat, go out and get it before coming back inside.
7) Don’t interrupt proceedings:
You’re not allowed to interrupt proceedings for any reason whatsoever. It’s also rude because you are taking time away from other people who are waiting their turn at speaking.
8) Don’t talk on your phone:
Talking on your phone is completely disrespectful of the judge and others in the courtroom. And as with bringing food or drink, it could also break court rules if they exist.
Keep conversations with your lawyer about the case to a minimum so that you don’t speak over other people who are trying to present evidence or tell their story.
Always stand when addressing the judge: When you address the judge, always stand up instead of slouching in your seat.
Make sure that when you speak, no one can tell what you’re saying because that would be really distracting.