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How to Dress When Going to Court for a Criminal Trial and/or Hearing

Crown Court Room dating from 1854The bad news is that you have to show up in criminal court for a trial or pretrial hearing. You will definitely be going before the criminal court judge who wields great power in determining whether the prosecution can proceed with its case against you and in what type of evidence will be admitted against you. And the jury, of course, will decide whether you are guilty of the crimes charged and has the power to determine your sentence. The good news is that you have many opportunities to influence both the judge and the jury in making these decisions. One of the simplest ways you can do this is by making some easy but important decisions regarding what you wear and how you appear when you show up in court.

Dress Like You’re Attending a Grandparent’s Funeral

Yes, that is a sad thought, and we hope all your grandparents live to a very long age, but it is a good rule of thumb when it comes to what you wear to court. You are not there to impress the ladies or the gents. You are not there to show off your distinctive fashion sense.

And you are definitely not there to show how you won’t live by society’s rules by dressing up for court. You are there for the exact opposite reason: to show that you do in fact live by society’s rules, and that you therefore are very unlikely to be guilty of the crimes charged.

This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a new $2,000 suit. In fact, wearing expensive clothes that appear to be too expensive in comparison to your income can weigh against you. You don’t want to walk into court looking like Don Gotti when your primary income is a part-time job at the gas station. Simply wear a nice, clean, presentable outfit. If you have a suit, great. If a polo shirt and slacks is your Sunday best, that works too. For women, a simple, unrevealing dress works.

Leave the Jewelry and Other Accessories at Home

This is especially the case if you are a man. Your court date is not your chance to try and break stereotypes. The fact is that lots of criminals wear expensive, flashy jewelry. Plenty of non-criminals wear jewelry as well, but your job is to resemble a criminal as little as possible when you go into court. And again, if you’re wearing $5,000 worth of jewelry while working a $10/hour a job, juries will likely think the worst of you.

Avoid Wearing the Same Outfit You Did During the Alleged Criminal Act

If you were arrested for assault while wearing your favorite Dallas Cowboys jersey, you are not going to want to be wearing that same jersey into court, even if you are completely innocent of the charges. If the witnesses remember you in your XXL Tony Romo get-up, their memories and biases against you are only going to be reinforced by seeing you in the same outfit. And if your best outfit is really a football jersey, invest in a presentable pair of slacks and a button-up and tie for your court date.

Tough Defense to Fight Your Oklahoma Criminal Charges

Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney Patrick Quillian has the knowledge, experience, and tenacity to fight your criminal charges and work towards a closed investigation, dismissal of charges, not guilty verdict, or other favorable outcome. Contact the office of J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, today at 405.294.4448 to schedule a free consultation to see what his criminal defense team can do for you.