A Defense Attorney's Guide To Attending Criminal Court

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

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.

  • Hats
  • Shorts
  • 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)

Courtroom Conduct

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
  • Sleeping
  • 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.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.