I’ve started a video series on Facebook detailing things that you should know about court and the criminal justice system. In a recent video, I discussed why it is important to dress appropriately when you go to court. A synopsis of the video is available below. Check out my video series and other information by following me on Facebook.

Why Dress Appropriately For Court?

Hello and welcome back to Attorney Paz’s rants of a criminal defense attorney. This week, I want to talk about dressing for court. I’ve seen a lot of stuff at court. The reason for this particular topic is something that I saw last week in court. I walk into court, and I see a man who walks in with sweatpants that are hanging off of his behind with boxer briefs pulled up to the top. He’s speaking to a prosecutor. The prosecutor asks him for some documentation for his vehicle. And he pulls an envelope out from his pants – not from a pocket – but from the pants. So in between the underwear and the pants, he reaches his hand in there, and pulls out the envelope. I almost felt like saying to the prosecutor, “maybe you shouldn’t touch that.”

But this is what happens. I obviously am an attorney, I dress for court in a suit. I’m not saying you have to go to court in a suit, but you should dress appropriately for court because essentially what you are doing is you’re asking for some consideration in most cases from the state attorney. You might say something like, “hey, listen, I’m charged with this offense. Instead of paying a fine on a motor vehicle infraction, can I do a charitable contribution or some community service hours?” You’re asking for something in return from these people. If they respect you and they see that you respect them and you respect the system, they are more willing to do that for you.

It’s the same thing, even if you have an attorney, and you have a criminal case. If you go up to the judge and the judge sees that you look slovenly, you’re coming to court in your pajamas, your pants are hanging below your ass, all of these things make them think that you do not have respect for the system. And if you don’t have respect for them, they won’t have respect for you.

So if you want a good result in your case, you need to show the system that you have some respect for it. Even if you disagree with your reasons for being there, you need to respect the system. So please, when you come to court, dress appropriately. I’m not saying you have to wear a suit and a tie, but dress pants, khaki pants and a dress shirt, will go a long way to getting the result that you want in your case. So if you have any questions about that, please give me a call or email me at [email protected]