Whether it’s your first time in the courtroom or you have been there before, here are a few things to know (or remember) about preparing for a court date.
- Write down the address the day before and put it in your wallet or purse. This includes the street address, the floor and room number of the hearing. You may think you will remember, but on the day of the event when you are feeling stressed, you will be happy this is taken care of.
- Know in advance where and you are meeting your lawyer. He or she may want to meet with you in advance of the hearing/trial or simply walk in together.
- Be early. The judge will not wait for you. Plan accordingly for traffic backups, being lost, parking issues or car breakdowns. Being early will keep you from being late.
- Dress appropriately. Talk with your lawyer in advance regarding your appearance. Clean, neat and conservative is always best.
- Once you get there turn off the ringer on your phone. To be safe, turn off the entire phone. You won’t be talking to anyone during your hearing.
- Practice being quiet. Your lawyer is there to represent you. She will have prepared you in advance for what to expect when you get there. Do not speak in court unless your lawyer signals to you that it is okay.
- Depending on what you are appearing in court for, you may need to be prepared to complete paperwork or testify. Be sure to ask your lawyer what the possible outcomes may be for your court appearance so you can adequately prepare.
Court can be stressful, but taking the steps above can help to make it more pleasant.