Dress appropriately. If you dress inappropriately, you may be asked to leave the courtroom. Appropriate attire, whether as a participant in a case, a witness, or an observer, shows respect for the judge who will be deciding the case. As a general rule, you should think of the courtroom as a formal environment. Dress as you would when going for an important job interview or to church.
Men: wear shoes with socks; long pants (on pants with belt loops, wear a belt); collared shirt (tucked in) preferably with a tie, with or without a jacket.
Women: wear shoes; a dress, skirt (preferably no more than two inches above the knee) or long pants; a blouse, sweater or casual dress shirt.
Do not wear
- halter or tube top
- see-through top
- flip flops
- clothing that exposes your midriff or underwear
- ripped or torn jeans
- baggy pants that fall below your hips
- clothing with an emblem or wording that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity
- clothing that depicts or promotes violence, sex acts, illegal drug use or profanity
Part 2: Arraignment or First Appearance in Court
- Can court staff help me?
- What should I wear to court?
- Where should I go when I arrive at the court building?
- What should I do when I enter the arraignment courtroom?
- What conduct is expected in the courtroom?
- Who are the people in the courtroom?
- What will happen at my arraignment?
- Bail Basics: What Bail Is, How It Works
- When can I first talk to my court appointed lawyer?
- Can I dispose of my case at arraignment?
- What happens when I talk to the prosecutor (during a break in my court appearance) about resolving my case?
- Can my case be continued?
- What could my punishment be?
- What happens if I am charged with a crime but I am not a United States citizen?
- What is the difference between civil infractions, misdemeanors and felonies?
- What happens if my case is not resolved at arraignment?
- What should I do before I leave court?
- Part 3: Pre-Trial, Trial and Verdict