Speak with your Chicago lawyer ahead of time to get clear picture of what to expect at your court appearance. Being prepared can give you a better sense of confidence in your case and shows the judge and jury that you care about your outcome. As the defendant, there are several simple things you can do.
Ask your Chicago lawyer for additional help, but in general, maintain a respectable appearance and dress appropriately when attending court. Wear clothes that are professional looking. If you do not testify, your appearance and conduct may be the only impression that you present to the judge or jury. You want your impression of yourself and your Chicago lawyer to be a positive impression.
Come To Court Prepared
Come to court prepared with any documents your Chicago lawyer has requested. It is also a good idea to bring basic items such as pen, paper, and ID.
Don’t Be Late!
Arrive ahead of time and meet with your Chicago lawyer before your court date. Be on time for every court appearance and meeting with your Chicago lawyer. Tardiness is unacceptable and shows a lack of interest and commitment on your part for achieving a positive outcome. Treat the court and your Chicago lawyer with respect by arriving ahead of time for scheduled appointments.
Be calm, professional, courteous and respectful to the judge, jury and court staff. Keep in mind that the success of your case and a positive outcome may hang in the balance. It can be challenging to hold back feelings and outbursts of injustice when you feel you are wrongly accused of a crime. Being patient and keeping those feelings in check is what is needed throughout the various stages of the court process. Your Chicago lawyer will make sure your side is heard in court.
Chicago Lawyer Guidance
Let your Chicago lawyer guide you in the process. A competent Chicago lawyer is well-versed in the Illinois justice system and Chicago court system. Follow the advice of your Chicago attorney — it is in your best interest! Your attorney may advise you on pretrial conduct, what to do to prepare and who to associate with.
Your Chicago lawyer may also suggest proactive measures prior to court, such as attending drug treatment if accused of a drug offense or enrolling in anger management courses if accused of domestic violence. These actions may show the judge and the court you want to get help and are committed to changing your behavior.
Ask Your Chicago Lawyer Questions
Ask your lawyer questions if you don’t understand. This includes questions about the proceedings, where to be, and what to say. Be proactive! Your Chicago lawyer is your advocate in the criminal justice system, use your attorney to your advantage and become familiar with your rights.
Remain in Good Standing
Maintain employment and good standing within your community. If you need a job, find one. Gainful employment can be considered a sign of stability. Speak openly with your Chicago lawyer about other ways you can improve your image before going to court. Should you complete volunteer community work? Accept counseling or rehabilitation in areas relevant to your case? Providing a positive impression and showing a willingness to change your life may be beneficial.
It would also probably be wise to stay out of trouble and avoid anything that could harm your case, revoke your bail, or tarnish your image. Additional charges could make life a nightmare for you and your Chicago lawyer and negatively impact the court’s opinion of you and ability to achieve a positive outcome.