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5 Things You Should Not Do in Criminal Court


When facing criminal charges, there are several ways of resolving your criminal case. One of the most common ways of resolving criminal cases is through plea bargaining. Research suggests that about 90 to 95 percent of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargaining. Another way of resolving criminal cases is by going to trial. If your case goes to trial, it is crucial that you know what you should and should not do in criminal court. When you understand what you should and should not do in criminal court, you can avoid inappropriate behavior or actions that can negatively affect the outcome of your case. This article looks at five things you should not do in criminal court.

  1. Dressing Inappropriately

Indeed, it is a free country, and you can wear whatever you want. However, when going to a criminal court, you need to be wary about how you dress because your appearance matters. How you dress can impact how the judge and jury relate to you. You should dress in a manner that shows that you respect the court, jurors, and legal process. Judges and juries relate better to a person if they dress conservatively and modestly. You should avoid wearing clothes that are too casual, revealing, or possibly offensive. Dressing in an appropriate manner can enhance your credibility.

  1. Lying or Twisting Facts

Knowingly lying under oath is a criminal offense (perjury) that carries harsh consequences. Other serious consequences of lying in criminal court include losing credibility, complicating your defense strategy, and losing trust with your attorney. Lying can also affect sentencing if you are convicted. The judge may consider your lack of honesty or remorse as an aggravating factor.

  1. Using Profanity

Regardless of how unfair you think the other side is or how upset you feel, using offensive, vulgar, or impolite words will only make matters worse for you. Do not use curse words or swear words in court. Using profanity can be considered contempt of court, which is a serious offense. It can also damage your credibility, create a negative impression of you, and offend the judge or jury. It is always best to let your defense attorney do most of the talking in court. It is best only to speak when absolutely necessary or when addressed.

  1. Making Inappropriate Facial Expressions

Some facial expressions convey aggression, contempt, and disrespect. Avoid making these facial expressions at all costs. Some examples of facial expressions to avoid in criminal court include rolling eyes, smirking or sneering, and expressions of anger or displeasure. When in criminal court, you should maintain a respectful or neutral facial demeanor.

  1. Yelling or Interrupting

You should not yell or interrupt the judge, prosecution, or witnesses. This behavior can be considered contempt of court. Allow everyone to speak without interruption. If you need to express yourself during court proceedings, ensure you do so calmly, respectfully, and through proper channels, such as through your defense attorney.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you are facing criminal charges in New York, our NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can represent you and guide you through the legal process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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