Georgia DUI Court Conduct Rules
When you are attending court for DUI or a DUI-related charge, it is critical that your behavior and clothing reflect your desire to treat the charge seriously. We have seen numerous people through the years approach court as a less than formal occasion and judges do not look favorably upon people who do that. At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, we know how important a good outcome for your case is. While judges and prosecutors can't say that your appearance impacts how they treat you, in our experience, it definitely does. We don't expect our clients to buy expensive suits but we do encourage our clients to dress appropriately. We have given some guidelines below on how to dress for court but if you have any questions, please reach out to one of our DUI Lawyers in Georgia.
How to Dress for Court for a DUI in Georgia
Our DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson have been defending clients charged with DUI for over 25 years. Throughout those years, we have formed what we think are the best suggestions dressing when you are required to attend court. We have seem numerous people kicked out of a courtroom or their court appearance postponed due to their attire. Your presentation tells the judge a lot about you, and sometimes these small cues can make the difference in your case. You should select clothing that shows the judge, lawyers, and clerks that you care about the laws and your rights.
What Men Should Wear for Court for DUI in Georgia
For men, the main issue we see is not dressing up enough. We frequently observe men come to court in jeans and a t-shirt. You are not doing yourself any favors by showing up in regular clothes. As stated before, you want to put your best foot forward, and your appearance is the first thing the judges will notice. Suits are acceptable for men but not required. If you wear a suit, you should also wear a tie. Business casual attire such as slacks and a dress shirt or solid polo are appropriate. Collared shirts are advised. Try to avoid shirts with wording on them or images such as skulls. Tucking your shirt in and wearing a belt are also encouraged. We have seen many men have to leave the courtroom for not tucking in their shirt or wearing their pants too loose.
Overall, our recommendation is that men wear a suit with a tie, sport coat, or a long sleeve button down shirt with slacks.
What Women Should Wear for Court for DUI in Georgia
Our best advice for women is to dress modestly. Avoid bright colors and clothes with writing or images on them. Short skirts, low-cut shirts, or super tight clothes are not advised when going to court. Some courthouses will not let you enter the courtroom if your clothes are too tight or short. Suits are also fine for women, but business casual is appropriate as well. If you choose to wear a dress, it should not be evening style dresses or one that is too short. Try to avoid high slits and dresses that are too tight. It is a good idea to keep hair, jewelry, and makeup conservative and to a minimum. This is not the time for large earrings, bracelets, or eccentric hairstyles. Your jewelry should not make noise. In regards to shoes, open-toed shoes are not acceptable as well as sandals, flip-flips, etc.
What Not To Wear When Attending Court for DUI in Georgia
Numerous cities and counties throughout Georgia have published their own rules on their website for attending court. Common unaccepted clothing includes but is not limited to:
- Ripped or torn jeans
- Baggy pants that fall below the waist
- Halter tops
- Tank tops and muscle shirts
- Hair curlers or hats
- Bare feet
- Excessive jewelry
- Clothing that depicts violence, sexual acts, profanity or illegal drugs
- Clothing with emblems that condone inappropriate or unlawful behavior
Georgia is not alone in these rules concerning courtroom conduct and behavior. Various other states have published similar guidelines for their courtrooms.
Georgia Courtroom Conduct Rules for DUI
In addition to how you dress, how you compose yourself is critical. From how you are dressed to how you approach the judge to how you interact with others involved with the hearing, everything matters. Your behavior in court for your DUI charge will have an impact on your case. Make sure it is helping your case and not hurting you.
Some suggestions our Georgia DUI Lawyers have when attending court include but are not limited to:
- Be polite. This does not just apply to the judge but anyone you come into contact with at the courthouse. They all report to the judge and let them know if you are disrespectful to them.
- Make sure to address the judge as “your honor”.
- Do not interrupt anyone. The judge will give you time to share your side of the story.
- Make eye contact with whoever is speaking to you.
- Pay attention to what is going on. Listen to the clerks to make sure you don't miss when your name is called or else you could be counted absent from court.
- Be on time. Some courts do not let you in if you are late and count it as a missed court appearance.
- Leave all food and drinks in your vehicle
- Leave cell phones in the car. If you bring your cell phone, turn it off. Some counties, such as Walton County, do not allow you to bring your phone in the courtroom. Make sure you give yourself enough time to return to your car if this applies.
- Answer questions in a loud, clear voice
- Thank the judge for their attention when done
While these guidelines don't guarantee a win in your case, the efforts that you make to dress professionally and behave respectfully will go a long way with the judge. If you have any questions about DUI Courtroom Conduct in Georgia, feel free to reach out to our Georgia DUI Attorneys.