Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Ways To Prepare For A Day In Court

As your hearing or trial date approaches, you may feel a bit intimidated or nervous at the prospect of facing the courtroom. Whether you’re facing drug charges, DUI allegations, or a charge for some other offense, it’s normal to be a little anxious. Being prepared and knowing what to expect will help keep any anxiety under control and support a successful outcome to your case. Take these four steps to get yourself ready:

Find Out What to Expect

Rather than going into the courtroom and taking things as they come, research how cases such as yours usually proceed. What will happen first? What are the possible and likely outcomes? An attorney who has handled similar cases can advise you. You can also conduct your own research online. Use a major search engine such as Google to search for “[your charge] court experience.”

Watch a Preview

If you can find a similar case in your area to observe ahead of time, do it. You’ll get to see what the courtroom looks like, how a trial proceeds, and the role filled by each person in the room. Knowing what to expect when your turn comes will go a long way toward easing your tension. Most trials are open to the public. There are even people who become courthouse regulars, because they find watching trials so interesting.

Get Organized

You can’t be too organized for a court case. Make sure any documents you plan to bring are arranged in a neat and easily accessible fashion. You should be able to pull out any document you need without flipping through multiple files or papers. Clip multi-page documents together so they stay organized if you drop one. Even if you have an attorney who will handle the documents, bring a notepad and pen so you can take notes during the case.

Don’t be Intimidated

Seeing a judge dressed in robes, bailiffs in uniform, and a lot of very serious-looking people standing around can make anyone tense up. Don’t let the external trappings make you forget that they’re just people too, like you. Dress appropriately yourself, treat everyone with respect, and remember to address the judge as “your honor.”

There’s no such thing as a completely stress-free day in court, but taking these steps ahead of time will help the experience go more smoothly. If you’re feeling very anxious about the hearing, consider seeing a professional like Angela L Walker PC before the big day. They can help you process your emotions and discuss techniques you can use to keep your calm in court.

Tim Esterdahl

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