What should I wear to court, how should I act when I’m there, what if I am super nervous about attending court? You must be prepared to attend court. These are topics we will be discussing in today’s Peach State Lawyer video blog.
Hey there, I’m Scott Smith from the Peach State Lawyer law firm talking to you today about preparations you should make in attending court in Georgia, whether it be the city of Atlanta or Superior Court of Cobb County, there are certain things you need to know to be prepared to attend court in Georgia.
First, be on time. Regardless of whether or not you have an attorney who is representing you or you are representing yourself, if you’re told to be in court, you need to be on time. That means be in the courtroom five to ten minutes earlier than the time stated on your court notice. As we all know traffic in and around Atlanta can be awful, I strongly recommend you become familiar with the traffic patterns from your home to the courthouse, parking at the courthouse, and the courtroom number you are going to. If you are super anxious about attending court ask your lawyer to meet you at the courthouse a day or a week in advance to introduce you to the courthouse and the courtroom.
One suggestion I have for our clients is to add a reminder in their phone that includes the judges name they are assigned, the case number, and courthouse information. That information is easily accessible when it is on your telephone which you will bring with you to the courthouse. If you are running late, call or text your lawyer to let them know your expected time of arrival.
If you don’t make it to court on time you could be subject to a bench warrant, fines, or even a Georgia driver’s license suspension. It might also have an impact on your pre-trial negotiations with the government’s prosecutors.
Next, dress appropriately. Certain courthouses have specific dress codes you must follow. But here’s a great go by.
Gentlemen, no shorts, no sandals, no tanktops, no ballcaps. Our office recommends you dress conservatively and professionally. We recommend wearing khaki pants and tucked in, collared shirt every time you appear in court. It is not necessary to wear a suit or a jacket and a tie. We feel sometimes that is overkill. But it is important to show the court you are taking the matter pending against you very seriously.
Women, no open toed shoes. No exposed shoulders. No shorts. Again, we recommend dressing conservatively and professionally.
Next, turn off all phones and electronic devices while you’re in court. If a device goes off in court, it will most likely be taken and you may be subject to a fine or other penalty for contempt of court.
Pay attention to the bailiff and court staff. Most courtrooms will actually instruct you on courtroom procedures and decorum prior to the start of court. They will tell you if you are allowed to leave the courtroom to make phone calls or use the restroom without court permission.
Lastly, always stand when you hear the court or court clerk call your name. In our experience 90 % of courtrooms expect you to stand to show you are present.
Following these guidelines will ensure you are prepared to attend court and your day in court runs smoothly.
If you’re facing an upcoming court date and want to ask questions about the nature of the charge you are facing or courtroom procedures call us today and schedule a free consultation. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 404-581-0999. Thank you so much.