Originally Posted by nikkib150
Here are some hints on appearing in court:
Dress professionally in clean clothes.
Do not wear message shirts.
Don't chew gum, smoke, or eat.
Bathe and wash your hair.
Do not bring small children or your friends.
Go to court beforehand some day before you actually have to go to watch how things go.
Speak politely and deferentially. If you argue or dispute something, do it professionally and without emotion.
Ask the court clerk who you talk to about a diversion (meaning you want to plead to a different, lesser charge), if applicable in your situation. Ask about traffic school and the ticket not go on your record, if applicable.
Here are five stories that criminal court judges hear the most (and I suggest you do not use them or variations of them):
1. Iíve been saved! (This is not religion specific; folks from all kinds of religious backgrounds use this one.)
2. My girlfriend/mother/sister/daughter is pregnant/sick/dying/dead/crippled and needs my help.
3. Iíve got a job in [name a state five hundred miles away].
4. This is the first time I ever did this.
5. Youíve got the wrong guy. (A variation of this one is the phantom defendant story: ďIt wasnít me driving, it was a hitchhiker I picked up. He wrecked the car, drug me behind the wheel then took off.Ē)
Public defenderís advice
Other people may give you other advice; stand by.
There are two rules for success:
(1) Never tell everything you know.