A defendant’s personal appearance can have a big impact on their case. At the law offices of Houston criminal defense attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss, we always advise our clients to be well dressed and groomed when they appear for their scheduled court dates.
Conservative, professional attire shows that a defendant respects the court and takes the proceedings seriously. It can give you the credibility you need when you plead your case before a judge or jury.
How to Dress to Impress for Your Court Appearance
Your personal attire and appearance should send the message that you respect the court and its business. We recommend that you dress for court the same way you would dress for a job interview. Remember to shower, shave, brush your teeth, and apply deodorant. Clothes should be neat and clean. Don’t arrive for your court date looking disheveled. Dress to impress — your future could depend on how you’re perceived by the judge and jury.
Men should ideally wear a suit and tie, or at least dress business casual. This includes:
- A sports coat
- A white or solid color button-up shirt
- A solid color tie
- Hair should be neat and well-groomed
- Any facial hair should also be neatly groomed
- Dress shoes
Don’t show up for your court date wearing::
- Old jeans
- Sweat pants
- Hats (excluding religious headgear)
- T-Shirts or tank tops
- Sneakers, flip flops, or sandals
- Biker jackets
- Visible chain necklaces
- Any item of clothing that displays offensive, vulgar, racist, sexist, gang-related, obscene language and/or graphics.
Like men, women should also dress conservatively. Women should consider wearing:
- A business suit
- Solid color blouses
- Solid color knee-length or longer dress or skirt
- Dress shoes
Women should avoid the same court fashion don’ts as the men, as well as wearing:
- Overly tight-fitting or form-fitting clothes
- Low-cut blouses
- Short skirts
- Excessively high heels
- Extravagant or overly showy jewelry
For more information, you can check out the City of Houston court dress code here.
How You Conduct Yourself in Court Can Affect Your Case
In addition to dressing to impress the Court, you can greatly help your case by:
- Showing up for your court date on time
- Not bringing food or drink into the court
- Not chewing gum
- Turning your cellphone off or put it on silent (not vibrate)
- Don’t take pictures
- Leaving children at home unless they’re witnesses
- Obeying all orders given by the court
- Addressing everyone involved in the trial — especially the judge! — in a respectful manner
Get Help from an Experienced Houston Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been arrested on misdemeanor or felony charges in Houston or Harris County, don’t make mistakes that could cost you big fines as well as your freedom. Contact Houston criminal defense attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss is here to protect your rights and help you avoid the mistakes that could sink your case. Lisa is a former County DA turned criminal defense attorney; her unique experience and vast legal skills often result in reduced charges and fines, and even acquittal, for her clients.
If you’ve been charged with a crime and are awaiting trial, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights. Contact the law offices of Lisa Shapiro Strauss at (713) 429-7310 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.