Most people aren’t too familiar with the New Jersey court system and how criminal cases work, but knowing how to prepare for a court date can make a huge difference in how your case is handled. If you’re facing criminal charges, you should take steps to prepare yourself for court and ensure that your attorney has the best chance of proving your innocence or defending your actions.
Preparing for court is a stressful experience, because a lot of things hang in the balance—your job, your personal life, your potential for employment or future opportunities, and in some cases, even your freedom if you face jail time or probation. Some of the basic tips below can help you understand what to expect, and what steps to take to prepare yourself.
Hire an attorney.
If you have a trusted family attorney who is skilled in defending the crime you are accused of committing, call him immediately. If not, do some digging, and find an attorney with the skills and background necessary to aggressively defend your case. It can only help you to retain an attorney, because the legal knowledge and the understanding of the state’s court systems will benefit your case. If you can’t afford an attorney, request a public defender.
Work with your attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney to defend you, do everything you can to help him—and you—before your court date. Communicate honestly and openly about your case, so that there are no surprises. Your lawyer wants to help you, but he can only do so if he knows what you’re up against.
Put your best foot forward, literally and figuratively.
In court, you will be judged by the evidence presented, but you will also be making an appearance before the jury of your peers. Most people make judgments about others based on how they look and how they present themselves, and even an impartial jury can fall into that line of thinking—it’s human nature! Help yourself by dressing and acting appropriately.
Putting your best foot forward doesn’t stop at dressing well. Make sure that you are polite, on time, and prepared. If you appear angry or aggressive, or your body language indicates displeasure or frustration, this will come across to the jury and the judge. Let your attorney speak for you as much as possible, and when you do have to testify or address the court, be respectful and polite.
Bring everything you’re going to need.
Before your trial date, you and your attorney will go over everything you should bring with you to your court appearance. This includes any documents and legal paperwork, signed witness statements, proof of community service, and more.
The prospect of going to court for criminal charges can be intimidating, but your attorney will help you prepare your defense and navigate the entire process. If you’re facing criminal charges, Scott Gorman, an experienced Morristown criminal defense attorney, can get you ready for trial. Contact Scott at The Gorman Law Firm today.
Published in Categories: Criminal Defense