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Inside court disciplines and formalities

Marietta, GA |

I am going to court next week as got a speeding ticket. This is my first time going to court. What would be the inside court rules? What should be my dress code, body language? Should I use any specific wordings while speaking? I really don't have any idea on this. Please advise me.

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Best answer

    Just dress nice/casual, you don't have to go all out. Arrive early, turn your cell phone off, when they call your name advise you are present and request a "pretrial." Then discuss negotiating a plea for a reduction in speed to 14 over the limit so you don't get points assessed against your license.

  2. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "inside court rules." Dress code should be business casual at a minimum. No one can advise you on how to litigate your suit without talking with you about what exactly happened. As to the specific wordings - are you asking how you can talk like a lawyer?

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. At this time, I am not accepting professional responsibility on this matter. No attorney/client relationship is created unless and until I receive a signed retainer agreement along with the requested retainer fee. If this matter is truly important to you, hire an attorney. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Without reviewing the appropriate paperwork It is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to recently-enacted U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, we are now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

  3. I agree with my colleague regarding the dress code. When communicating, be clear, concise and don't try to use special words if you are not familiar with them. This is a speeding ticket. The higher the speed, the more points you are facing. You say that you don't have any idea how to defend yourself. This is understandable. You might consider hiring an attorney to represent you. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation. You will be told the fees charged as well as probable outcomes, and consequences.

  4. I would recommend retaining an attorney depending on your driving record and how fast you were going when given the ticket. If you don't have a driving record and were going less than 20 miles over the speed limit, and not in a school zone or residential area, a decent attorney should be able to get this resolved for you if you agree to take defensive driving (this will help your auto insurance also) and pay a fine. If you going to represent yourself, dress like you were going to a job interview (suit, tie, long pants, suit jacket, no short skirts, no jeans, no t-shirts) be clean shaven and have a clean hair cut. No outrageous jewelry, etc. It should make a difference but it does and the better you look, the better you will feel and present yourself. There is no special language to use; don't swear using cuss words. You can ask the prosecutor if they will dismiss your ticket if you agree to defensive driving. If at any time you are not comfortable with the proceedings, then tell the court that you want a continuance in time to get an attorney.

  5. Nothing gets a judge angrier than to have parties or attorneys speak to each other before the bench. Protocol is that everything is said to the judge. This does not apply, of course, to actual trial proceedings such as questions put to witnesses and arguments addressed to a jury.

    Your presentation, oral and physical, should be dignified and respectful, but not abnormally so. No different from any other social occasion when you are expected to be on good behavior.

    Personal aspersions and reflections on opposing counsel are frowned upon.

    Attorneys differ in opinion to some extent on this, but in forty years of practice I have never uttered the words "lie" or "liar" in a courtroom.

    Remember that almost everybody in traffic court is there for the first time. The judge knows this, too, and expects it. It will be easier than you think.

  6. Dress appropriately, doesn't mean a suit or tie, but respect the court and the judge. Speak respectfully to the prosecutor, the judge and any other personnel you may come in contact with.If this is your first time in court you may have options available to you to clear the matter without entering a plea. Speak to an experienced traffic citation attorney, depending on the facts of your case you may be better off represented by counsel than going alone.

  7. Dress well (not necessarily a suit and time, but pants with a nice shirt tucked in), speak clearly and slowly. Be pleasant to the clerks because they are the ones that can get you in and out. Speak with the prosecutor about reducing your charge to a non-reporting violation.

    James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.

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