It is not uncommon for many drivers to get traffic tickets but, when it comes to preparing for traffic court appearances, most drivers do now know how to prepare or even what to do once they showed up to the hearing. Also, many people are giving “advice” that is not based on experience but only on half-truths, which tend to do more bad than good to most people’s situations.
This is why, if you got a traffic ticket and you need to go to court, you must get the right defense. Our lawyers at Ktenas Law in Chicago are professional and experienced attorneys that will represent you in your traffic case or even in DUI charges. No matter how many charges you are facing at one or your record, our lawyers will protect your rights and your interests and represent you to the best of their abilities.
From the initial investigation to the resolution of your case, when choosing to be backed by Ktenas Law, you will be getting all the help and experience you need to protect your interests.
Keep reading this guide we put together for you to show prepared in court and to learn all you need to know about how to behave and dress for your hearing.
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5 Tips To Make The Most Out Of Your Time In Court
You might be surprised to learn that your behavior and appearance in court might have an impact on getting any consideration. For example, being respectful of the courts and court officers can be of considerable help. If you want to learn how to mask the most out of your time in court, here are 5 tips you should be aware of before going to court.
1. Dress Appropriately
One way of respecting the judge is to wear your best clothes: make sure you are well-presented, clean-cut, and gentle. Avoid wearing a hat or chewing gum. Keep in mind that fighting a traffic ticket is all about begging for leniency. If you are a proud person, make some compromises, otherwise, you won’t go anywhere. Your ego will recover anyways.
2. Keep Manners In Mind
Things you should avoid in court include interrupting the judge, insulting the officers, or showing disrespect for the law. Even if it might seem quite obvious, sometimes in court emotions might run high, especially when fighting costly tickets. Keep calm and ensure you always address the judge with “you honor” and that you call the officers “sir” or “ma’am”.
Do not speak until you are permitted to do so. People will be more willing to help you if they see your efforts as being likable.
3. Show Up Early
Remember you are not the only one attending the traffic court hearing. If you show up early, you’ll have a seat closer to the front, meaning your case will be one of the first to be heard. Showing up late might mean you’ll be turned away, which is something you should avoid at all costs.
If you choose to go to court instead of paying your tickets, you won’t be able to change your mind. If you don’t show up in court, the consequences might be very serious and you’ll most probably end up with a guilty verdict. Wages can also be garnished and you might have to pay a fine in addition to your ticket. On top of that, your license will be suspended.
That said, you should make it a priority to show up early in court if you want to avoid all of the stress of such penalties.
4. Be Prepared
As soon as your name is called, you’ll have to step forward to face charged. Because of the high volume of people appearing before a judge, you must be prepared to explain your case or to demonstrate the evidence you might have.
5. Be Honest
Prosecutors and judges are experienced professionals who have seen many things in court. They will be able to tell if you are lying or not and they will ask you questions to make you fall if you are not honest. If you want to have good results in court, you should be honest, and straightforward. Mind you that this doesn’t mean you need to stand up and admit your guilt, but that you need to be ready to answer honestly to the questions posed by the prosecutor, officers, or the judge.
Why Should You Be Practicing Your Testimony?
Before getting to court, you should spend some time practicing your testimony enough times until you get good at repeating it. Ask someone from your family to play the part of the judge and allow him or her to interrupt you with questions so that you are trained to keep talking once the question is answered.
Keep practicing until you are very comfortable about explaining what happened and presenting the evidence.
A good approach to present your testimony is to outline your key points and to prepare an index card in advance. Your testimony should establish an adequate defense, for example by demonstrating you didn’t commit any moving violation by providing the right evidence.
Avoid reading your notes, but instead, use them as a guideline while you are practicing. You might want to edit your outline after having examined the officer in court, to improve your testimony and increasing your chances. If it is the first time you appear in traffic court, it is a good idea to watch a few cases before it is your turn.
What Can You Expect During Traffic Court?
First of all, as mentioned before, you should arrive early to court. Take a few minutes to prepare and make sure you have all the documentation you need to present your case. Remember that you won’t be the only one in the courtroom. After being sworn in, you’ll be hearing the judge calling cases.
When you hear your name, you and your lawyer will have to move to the podium and state your plea to the judge. You’ll have the option to admit fault or to plead not guilty. Admitting fault means that you enter a no-contest plea, which might result in you having to spend the whole day in court and the reduction of your fine. Pleading not guilty on the other hand is the equivalent of requesting a trial.
Our traffic defense attorneys in Chicago have plenty of experience with traffic ticket cases in the state of Illinois. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your case and to get a free consultation.