Although Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise can get away with it in the movies, getting angry and raising your voice will land you in more trouble with the judge.
For disrespectful behavior, the judge can hold you in contempt of court, which can result in a fine or, in more serious cases, jail time.
Take a look at these tips for testifying in court, so you can be prepared for your day in court.
How Loud Should I Be?
When speaking in court, you should speak loudly enough to be heard, and clearly enough to be understood, but never raise your voice, or show that you are upset.
Anger shows a lack of respect for the judge and the court proceedings, as well as a failure to grasp how much of your particular case depends on the judge. If you are not respectful of the judge, then he will be less likely to give you a favorable outcome when he can.
In a similar fashion, you should never interrupt the judge or anyone else who is speaking, or talk over anyone. Refrain from wild hand gestures, or moving too much while you speak. Slang terms, or inappropriate or foul language is a no as well.
All of your actions in the courtroom should be showing respect for the court and its proceedings.
What Could Happen If I Lose My Temper?
If you lose your temper, or are unruly or disruptive in the courtroom, the judge can hold you in contempt of court, which means that he may fine you for your disruptions, or, if he deems that your actions were meant to obstruct justice and derail the courtroom proceedings, he may even put you in jail.
While it may be incredibly stressful and embarrassing to be in court, it is important to keep your emotions in check and respond professionally and politely.
Don’t feel the need to interrupt, and don’t be afraid that you won’t be heard unless you speak over the judge. Be calm and patient, because the judge is there to listen to you, and you will get a chance to speak. Writing down your thoughts as you have them is a good idea, instead of blurting them out and interrupting whoever is speaking.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney that can help zealously defend your case. Contact us at Minick Law, P.C. for a free consultation on your case.
James Minick is founder and C.E.O. of Minick Law, P.C. James is committed to providing top notch legal services through his team of highly specialized legal professionals. James will defend your rights.