If you've been charged with a criminal charge in Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, or any other county in Pennsylvania, you will eventually be required to attend court. The thought alone can be intimidating for first-timers, as they may not be sure about what they should wear, what to say, and other important protocol. With this in mind, attorney Joseph D. Lento has provided you with a few tips that will help make the clinical court atmosphere a little less scary.
A courtroom, whether it be the magisterial district court or the state's Supreme Court, is always a formal environment. You should dress according to this environment by not wearing anything that could possibly be deemed as inappropriate. If you decide to go against your better judgment and dress casually, court officials may ask you to leave.
Just to be safe, you should avoid wearing the following.
- Ripped clothing or clothes that are see-through
- Clothing that exposes your midriff
- Clothing that exposes your undergarments
- Any type of apparel that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity, or sends a controversial message (like violence, sex, drug use, or profanity)
There are some actions and behaviors that can be interpreted as disrespectful and distracting in court. Because of some defendant's unfamiliarity with the courts, they may be partaking in these actions without knowing it.
You'll likely be fine if you avoid exhibiting the following behaviors in court:
- Eating, drinking, chewing gum
- Swearing or using profanity
- Muttering under your breath
- Speaking when you are supposed to be silent
- Having loud side conversations
Additionally, if you must bring your cell phone in court, remember to keep it on silent.
It's important to note that when you enter a courtroom, you should take your seat and sit quietly until you are called by name. When you hear your name, you should answer “present" in a clear and distinguishable voice. If you refuse to answer or aren't paying attention, the court will mark you as absent regardless of the fact that you are there. If you don't hear your name at all throughout the course of your court appearance, notify an officer during a break.
Asking For Help
The court staff at a criminal court is there to help you. So make sure you utilize your resources. You can ask them questions about processes and deadlines, and they can assist you in filling out paperwork if need be. But their help is limited, as they aren't allowed to give legal advice nor talk to a judge for you about a potential outcome.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
A major part of being adequately prepared for your case entails seeking the help of an experienced attorney. A legal professional who defends criminal defense cases will know the ins and outs of the process and the way of this particular court. Attorney Joseph D. Lento brings a wealth of experience to the table, as he's successfully handled numerous cases just like yours. But most importantly, his familiarity with the overall process can be a source of comfort for you in one of the most stressful times of your life. For more information about his representation or how he can help you, contact him online or by phone today at 215-535-5353.