You’ve found yourself charged with criminal offenses in Pennsylvania, and your hearing date is fast approaching. You have a defense strategy and you’ve sought out relevant guidance from knowledgeable parties.
It feels like matters are pretty much out of your hands now, but is this really the case? Does your conduct in the courtroom matter?
You need to arrive on time
Your hearing date has been scheduled, and other than in exceptional circumstances, you will be expected to attend. Tardiness will not only add to your stress levels, it will not look good in the eyes of the court. If the court has to wait for you, the judge may ultimately decide that you are not going to attend. This could lead to severe penalties, including further criminal charges, which is the last thing you need.
It may be better if you arrive early. This will allow you to take some deep breaths, have a seat for a while and get your bearings. Some people even turn up a day or two before, to plan their route and ensure they know exactly where they are heading.
First impressions count
You also want to consider how you present yourself. You only get one chance to make a first impression. If you are facing a jury trial, then they will be trying to get a measure of the type of person you are. Appearance shouldn’t really make a difference, as the jury should be looking at the facts. This is not the case in reality though, and even small things, such as what you wear, could sway the jury in your case.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. If you’re facing criminal charges, make sure you have assessed your legal options in full detail.