It is always likely in a criminal defense case that you will need to appear in court before a judge or jury. Ultimately any criminal defense attorney in Orlando, FL will tell you that evidence is the deciding factor in a case, but experts have long believed in the persuasive effect of a defendant’s personal appearance. If you seem unpleasant, unattractive, or unlikeable, then jury members will be less likely to sympathize with your case. Remember these simple reminders to put your best face forward in the courtroom.
Always Be Well Groomed
Always enter the courtroom dressed as you would for church or a job interview. Messy and unkempt clothes suggest a lack of respect for the court and an inability to function as a model citizen. In some cases, an experienced Orlando criminal lawyer will bring a spare change of clothes so defendants do not have to appear in a prison uniform.
Hygiene is an absolute must. You will be a disturbance to everyone around you if your smell is off-putting. Always be neat, clean shaven, and fresh. In addition to appearing more appropriate, you will feel more confident and comfortable.
Never Be Flashy
Your personal style may include bright colors, stylish jewelry, or expensive looking accessories, but in court, anything too showy or distracting will seem inappropriate. Juries are often unsympathetic towards defendants that seem arrogant or brash, and an outlandish appearance can make you less relatable.
An eccentric personality can be just as off-putting as a glamorous appearance. Research has shown that juries relate more to defendants that seem humble and down to earth. Furthermore, the judge will not appreciate dramatics or arguments in the courtroom.
Always Speak Your Case Clearly
Answer questions directly and always speak clearly without shouting or mumbling. A tense or argumentative state will cause you to look culpable and possibly even remorseless. If you treat everyone in the room with the utmost respect, it will be more difficult for the prosecution to portray you as a criminal.
Fidgeting, backtalk, a lack of eye contact, and other tells of discomfort are often interpreted as guilt. A qualified Orlando criminal defense attorney will help prepare you for the sort of questions you should expect to answer. If your answers are always clear and concise, your defense will be stronger.
It is absolutely crucial that you be completely truthful at all times. If you exaggerate, guess, or change the details of your story, you risk being quickly discredited. A single false statement, no matter how unintentional, will cause disbelief to everything else you say.
Speak with your Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer
Long-term studies in jury behavior research have frequently revealed that no one is totally unbiased. Experts that review the most infamous criminal trials in history will often refer to the impact of a defendant’s appearance. Little details like facial expression, posture, and clothing can elicit a persuasive response that inclines a person in your favor. Consult with your Orlando criminal defense attorney about the type of appearance you need to make in court.