Knowing how to look, what to say, when to stay silent, as well as other standard protocols will help you make it successfully through a court appearance. With this in mind, here are a defense lawyer’s recommendations when entering Montgomery County Criminal Court.
Those who enter a courtroom must consider it a formal environment that requires respect. Therefore, do not wear anything inappropriate. If you do, you may get asked to leave.
- Ripped or see-through clothing
- Clothing that exposes your underwear or midriff
- Any type of clothing that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity
- Any apparel that shows or promotes violence, sex acts, illegal drug use, or profanity
Know How Court Staff Can Help
The court staff at Montgomery County Criminal Court can assist you in several ways.
Court staff can:
- Answer questions and offer explanations about the court process and some deadlines
- Offer some details about your case, such as the charges filed against you
- Assist you in filling out standard paperwork
- Give information about contacting a legal referral service or how to file for a public defender
There are, however, some areas where court staff cannot help, including:
- Give legal advice (only a lawyer can provide this advice)
- Offer opinions about your case
- Recommend a specific lawyer or firm
- Talk to a judge for you about possible outcomes
- Allow you to talk to the judge outside of the courtroom
- Modify or dismiss an order issued by a judge
Expected Conduct in the Courtroom
The court finds some behaviors disrespectful and distracting. Avoid the following behaviors according to a defense lawyer’s recommendations when entering Montgomery County Court:
- Chewing gum, eating, or drinking
- Having loud private conversations
- Swearing or using profanity
Additionally, if you must carry a cell phone be sure it is turned off while you are in the courtroom.
What to Do Upon Entering the Courtroom
When you enter the courtroom, you should take a seat and sit quietly until your name is called. When you hear your name, answer “present” in a clear voice. If you do not answer when your name is called, it is considered the same as not showing up. If you do not hear your name, notify a court officer during the first break.
What to Do If You Arrive Late
If you fail to get there on time, sit tight until there is a break. Often, names are called a second time once the court resumes. If this does not happen, inform a court clerk that you arrived late. Your court proceeding may go on or the court will reschedule your case for another date.
When It Is Time to Speak
A defense lawyer recommends that when entering Montgomery County Court, speak directly to the judge when she asks you a question. Address the judge as “Your Honor”, and avoid arguing or interrupting the judge and do your best to remain calm. Do not get upset, raise your voice, or show any other type of disrespect toward the court.
Since a court reporter takes down every word said in the courtroom, it is imperative that you speak loudly and clearly.
Reasons to Retain a Montgomery County, PA Defense Lawyer
Going to court can be a stressful experience, especially when you are there as a defendant. Now that you know a defense lawyer’s recommendations when entering Montgomery County Criminal Court, though, you can feel more comfortable when you need to go.
It is important to remember that you will feel most confident and relaxed when you have defense attorney by your side. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a defense lawyer can ask the court to release you on your word that will you return for your next court date or argue for a reduced bail amount.