Going to Court, particularly for the first time can be a very daunting experience.
First there is the anxiety of having been charged with an offence and not being sure what the result will be.
Local Courts in particular tend to be crowded places with the Court dealing with a significant volume of cases every day. The Magistrate, the prosecutors and the lawyers have their own language so it is often hard to fully understand what is being said or decided. This can be compounded by the poor acoustics in some courtrooms (it is often hard to hear from the public gallery in court)
At Bennett Law we pride ourselves on explaining to our clients the Court process and what is likely to occur before we go into Court to ease your anxiety as much as possible. We also place great emphasis on explaining to you exactly what the result has been following your Court appearance and answering any questions you may have.
Tips about Going to Court
- Make sure you know where the court is and leave in enough time to get there by your chosen method of transport (remember cars break down, buses and trains can be late). There is nothing like being late to arrive at Court to make your anxiety level peak.
- Don’t drive your car to Court if you have a traffic matter and you may get disqualified (because you will be tempted to drive home)
- Do bring all the relevant documents such as references, medical reports etc (put them in a folder or envelope so they stay neat and clean)
- Don’t bring children to court (particularly young ones) if it can be avoided. Magistrates generally consider it is a place children shouldn’t be attending. There is nothing (apart from a mobile ringing) that annoys a Magistrate more than a small child making noise in a courtroom.
- Turn your mobile phone off (make sure anyone with you does too). Many magistrates confiscate phones that ring in court.
Grooming and Dress
- Dress neatly. Dressing neatly is very important. It shows you are treating the matter seriously (so is the Magistrate or Judge). Showing you are treating the matter seriously is very important in terms of how the Magistrate sees you and this can subtly have a positive or negative effect on what occurs.
- Remember Magistrates (given their age) were mostly educated when grooming and dress were considered important. Wear neat clothing (shirts tucked in for men) good shoes, neat hair and grooming (getting a haircut can impress some magistrates). Magistrates don’t necessarily “get” body jewellery (consider removing it if you can for the day)