Preparing for Your First Trial in California

People appearing in court for the first time tend to be a bit uneasy and nervous. And rightly so, in many cases, people don’t really know much about the legal system and how the proceedings go.

So, if you need to prepare for your court date, you may want to learn more about how it all works. We reached out to a criminal defense attorney at Monder Criminal Lawyer Group to share some of the most important beats of the court proceedings and what you should know before appearing in court.

It’s Good to Know Exact Charges

When you are charged of a crime, you are told exactly what your purported crime is. However, if you are not well versed in the legal jargon, one definition may sound very similar to another – and before you know it, you are completely lost.

In order for your legal representative to be able to help you, they will need to know exactly what you are accused of. In those situations, the best option is to ask for a written definition of your charges. This way, your attorney can prepare for the court date.

Is There Bail Available

More likely than not, bail will be available to you – California has a pretty well-established and refined system of bail and bail bonding. After all, jails would be full of people waiting for their court date otherwise. It is to everyone’s benefit to have this system in place.

In some instances, the judge might decide that you are a flight risk, or that you may affect the witnesses and decide that bail is not a good idea, or conversely, let you leave until your trial without bail, all depending on the crime you are accused of.

Don’t Be Late for Court

If you are released on bail before your trial, you have obligated yourself to appear before the court at a specific time on a specific date – don’t miss your day in court. Not only will it not resolve your problems, it will also make you a fugitive and cost you a lot of money (the collateral you left to the bail bonding agency).

Arriving on time will have a positive effect on your case – it will show the court that you are respectful of their time and the process itself. Even though it should not have an impact on the ultimate decision of the court – it is always good to be on the good side of the law.

Apparel Matters as Well

Another thing that might not have an impact on the ultimate decision of the court, but shows people in the legal system that you respect them and the process itself is wearing proper clothes. There is a kind of dress code that you are expected to follow. Think of clothes you would wear to a prom or a job interview.

Be Careful How You Speak and What You Say

Finally, your demeanor will also matter. Be solemn and watch your tone, especially when speaking to the officers of the court and the judge.

You should be acutely aware that things you say can have a great impact on the end result of your trial, so be very specific with your answers and try not to be provoked by questions from the prosecution. If you’re unsure about anything, consult with your attorney.

These simple tips and recommendations can give you an upper hand, or at least not have a negative impact on your case. However, in order to be sure that you have the best chance in court, you should consult a reliable and experienced criminal defense lawyer.

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