Monday, August 1, 2016

Behind Bars: Courtroom Etiquette

Clear Lake Courtroom Etiquette.  

When you're arrested and charged with a crime you will be spending a lot of time in a courtroom, regardless of your guilt. Welcome to the American judicial system.  Depending on the facts of your particular case, your courtroom experience could last weeks, months and sometimes even years.  Yep, you may be sitting in a courtroom for months on end.  If you find yourself in need of professional bail bond services the very best in the surrounding counties is Rob Brown Bail Bonds, 5120 Cole Creek Rd, Kelseyville, CA, 95451 (707) 587-4563.

Get comfortable, because this could take a awhile.  If this is your first time in trouble, then you may not be privy to basic courtroom etiquette. We're here to help.  As a former corporate trial attorney, I know everything about how to properly behave in courtroom and what not to do. If you don't follow the rules of the courtroom, it could delay your case or make it more difficult for you to get out jail.  In our series, Behind Bars, we're taking a closer look at etiquette and how to apply those tips to everyday life. Let's get started. 

All Rise

When a judge enters the courtroom, you'll here a bailiff ask the audience to rise.  This means to take your hat off an stand up.  Rising as a judge enters the courtroom is respectful gesture, and shows you honor the judicial system and the powers that be.  Rising also shows respect for the bail bonding agents.  Bail bondsman and judges often work together during a case to determine the appropriate amount of bond for a defendant. When a bailiff asks you to stand up, you must remain standing until the judge walks across the courtroom and sits down on the bench.  The bench is the desk and seating area where a judge presides over a case. Once the judge sits down, he or she will slam the gavel on the table and the court hearing will begin. 

Library Voices

Once a hearing begins, it is critical to keep your voice to a whisper.  Think library voice. During your hearings, you will probably need to communicate with your bail bonding services company or your court appointed attorney.  If you must pass along a message or need clarification about a legal term, you will be provided with a legal notepad and a blue ball point pen.  Please use the paper and pencil to write down any questions you may have.  Slide the paper to your attorney and wait for a response.  If you need to pass a note to your bail bonding agent, quietly ask your attorney to pass along the note.  If you speak to loudly or argue with the judge, you will be held in contempt of court. This basically means you will face new charges and have to sit in jail and in court for even longer.  Don't let this happen to you.  Your mom and bail bondsman will be very upset.

Courtroom Food and Drink

Often court proceedings can go on for hours at a time, without any breaks.  If you know a particular hearing will be more than two hours, eat before you arrive.  Your bail bonding services company will not be allowed to provide snacks during a court hearing.  But, if you're thirsty and pitcher of ice cold water will be easily accessible.  Your bail bondsman will provide you will cups and napkins.  You'll find the water on the defendant's table in the corner of the courtroom.  You do not need to ask to drink water.  Although, try not to make a scene.  If you drink too loudly, a judge may ask for you to wait until a break to quench your thirst.

Court Breaks

During a court hearing or trial, it is critical to take breaks. A trial is exhausting for you an the bail bonding agent.  Because it is so intense, a judge will ask you how you're feeling and if a break is in order.  A courtroom break typically lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours.  Use your break wisely. Go to the bathroom, meet with your family and have an in depth conversation with your bail bondsman agent. If you need more snacks or just need to talk, your bail agent will be there for you. A courtroom break is also a good time to take a nap, because let's face it, court can be kinda boring.  A nice sleeping room is provided for all defendants.   Your bail bonding agent should have the key to this room.
Good luck during your next hearing.  Follow these tips to insure a successful and positive experience.