What NOT To Wear In Court

Posted on 22. Jul, 2013 by in Blog, Tips

By: Demetrio Duarte, Jr.

What is not appropriate for your court appearance?  Your personal style is great for private gatherings, but the individuals involved in the court system are very conservative and often make judgments based on their first impression of you.  If you want a good result, you will want to dress in a way that tilts the odds in your favor.  Whether you are appearing in court for a criminal, civil, or family law case, here are some basic guidelines to help you pick the appropriate attire.

1.)    Do not wear a t-shirt with profanities or an explicit image.  If you are a male, a shirt with a collar and a single color is preferred.   Blouses for females should also be conservative and not too revealing.   Spaghetti straps and sleeveless blouses are not acceptable.

2.)    Do not wear shorts or a short skirt. Shorts are never appropriate for a male or female to wear in court. When a female wears a skirt it is important that it is not too short.

3.)    Do not wear jeans with holes, jeans that sag, or sweat pants. If you do wear jeans to court,  do not wear jeans that have holes all over them or are torn in multiple areas. In addition to that you should not sag your jeans. If a judge or bailiff, sees you in jeans that are sagging,  chances are you will be asked to pull up your jeans. Sweat pants are also not appropriate for the courtroom.

4.)    Avoid jewelry when possible. Men with gold chains around their neck are viewed in an unfavorable way.   Women with too excessive jewelry are also frowned upon.  A watch, wedding ring and one necklace are fine for ladies.   Men should wear a watch and a wedding ring if they are married.

5.)    Do not wear flip flops. Your shoes are also important when choosing your outfit for court. Flip flops are not appropriate and are also loud and distracting when you are walking around in a court room.   All shoes should be clean and professional.  Worn out gym shoes give a bad impression and are a sign of disrespect to the court.

6.)     Cell phones.  Turn them off when in the courtroom and pull your blue tooth earpieces out of your ear.    Everyone wants your undivided attention and getting phone calls is seen as disrespectful.  If your phone is off and still visible, look at your case.   Is the case obscene, distracting, etc.?   A case with a photo of marijuana leaves will not make a good impression on a judge in any case.

Remember that your outfit can be a reflection of your respect for people in the courtroom, so you should dress accordingly. Even if you do not say a word in court, your attire can still speak volumes to a judge. If you are unsure of an article of clothing do not wear it.

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