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How To Prepare For Your Criminal Trial

by Theresa Hoffman

If you have had criminal charges brought against you, chances are you are doing everything that you can to prepare for the trial. Whether your goal is to be declared innocent or to only lessen the severity of the sentence, there are steps you need to take to ensure you are ready once court is in session. The following can help.

Begin the recovery process

If your charges involved substance abuse or another treatable offense, then enter into a treatment program as soon as you are able and well in advance of your court date. Entering treatment under your own free will, not because of a court mandate, can help lessen your sentence. In some cases, prior treatment can even help lower any time you have to serve in a court-mandated treatment program.

Don't skip any meetings

The main person on your side is your lawyer, who will be spending their time preparing for your trial. If you start canceling or skipping appointments, they may decide to drop your case. Keep all appointments with your lawyer, especially as your court date approaches. They will be coaching you on your defense as well as what to expect in court.

Dress the part

Dress for success even applies in court. There is no reason to wear a three piece suit unless this is your normal mode of dress in the professional world. At the same time, you don't want to look sloppy. Attend to hygiene, including shaving or trimming your beard and hair, and then dress in a business casual manner. Slacks and a dress shirt works well for men and women, or you can dress up a bit more by adding a blazer or wearing a dress.

Work on your body language

Chances are you will be nervous, but this is sometimes mistaken as guilt by jurors. Over-confidence can also put jurors off. You don't want to avoid eye contact nor do you want to "stare down" jurors. Instead, practice making eye contact in a natural manner. Your lawyer can help you with this skill.

Ask questions

Your lawyer is there to help you. Make sure to ask for a timeline of expected events as well as what to expect at each event. You should also request any tips or pointers from your lawyer on how you should respond or behave during the different aspects of the trial and court proceedings.

For more help, contact a law firm in your area. You can also find more information by clicking here, or on similar sites.