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Acting Appropriately in Court The courtroom, whether at the local, state, or federal level, is a solemn and highly professional place. It is so because of the dealings that proceeds there. It is within the courtrooms of America that the judicial branch of the government conducts its daily business. And the daily business of the judicial branch is to hand down judgments to the citizenry. Often these judgments can bear a heavy penalty or life long determination for the persons involved, and it is because of this profound significance that these judgments can bear that the courtroom is a strict and highly professional place. In addition, because of the weighty matters that are handled in court, it is important for a defendant especially to know how they should conduct themselves while in the courtroom.

Criminal Defense Criminal defendants in Utah should understand that there personal conduct within the courtroom can greatly influence the outcome of their hearing or trial. It will be the Utah criminal defense lawyer who will work to show evidence of one’s innocence but it is still up to the defendant themselves to conduct their behavior in accordance with the traditions and etiquette of the courtroom. By behaving properly while in the courtroom, the defendant will be able to show that they are capable of following rules, being civilized, professional, and responsible. And it is these characteristics that the judge will often be constantly considering as the hearing proceeds or when the trial comes to sentencing. A quality criminal defense lawyer in Utah will prep their client with information on how to act in the courtroom, but knowing beforehand can give the defendant all the more advantage. The first thing to understand about conducting oneself in the courtroom is that everything concerning the courtroom is formal.

Arrive Early Formal in this sense means professional. A defendant should arrive early for their hearing or trial, should dress neatly, should never chew gum while in the courtroom or bring snacks unless a medical condition requires them.


All names and titles should be observed when addressing anyone in the courtroom. This means that prefixes such as Mr., Mrs., and Mss. should always be used in connection with the individual’s last name when addressing anyone in the courtroom unless they have a different title such as doctor or professor. In addition to this, it is paramount that if a defendant addresses the judge, which should rarely happen as all communication from the defendant should go through their attorney, but if the situation calls for the defendant to communicate directly with the judge the defendant should always address them as “your honor”.

Stay where you’re told And movement around the courtroom while proceedings are underway is not allowed. It is best for a defendant to remain seated next to their attorney unless otherwise directed. In the same vein, a defendant should not speak unless asked to or otherwise given permission to address the court. As stated above, it is most wise for a defendant to give all communications through their defense attorney as they will be able to counsel and give advice where needed. By appropriately conducting themselves in the courtroom, a defendant will be able to show their maturity and responsibility. These characteristics will reflect positively while facing a criminal hearing or trail. Photo credit: Srqpix, Chicagoman


Acting Appropriately in Court