Skip to navigation


Brian J Smith Aug. 27, 2018


In all walks of life, a first impression is important, but when it comes to a court appearance, first impressions are critical. This is true whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant. When you are facing a judge or jury, or both, it is important to put your best foot forward in every way possible. These tips from a criminal defense attorney Las Vegas NV residents trust will help you make a good impression and could have an impact on your outcome.

Arrive Early

If your notice to appear in court tells you to be there at 9 AM, you must be in the courtroom, seated and ready for the judge to enter precisely at 9 AM. You need to allow yourself ample time to travel to the courthouse, find parking, get through security and get inside the courtroom long before the proceedings begin. Even being five minutes late could result in your case being dismissed in civil court. If it is a criminal case, you could be held in contempt and a bench warrant issued for your arrest. Bail could be revoked which could mean forfeiture of your bond. Don’t think that a judge will not notice if you slip into the courtroom late even if your case has not been called. When your case is called, the judge will more than likely comment on your tardiness which could affect the outcome of the case.

Leave Your Cell Phone in the Car

In some jurisdictions, you are not even permitted to bring a cell phone into a courthouse. There are metal detectors and guards whose job it is to search anyone entering the courtroom and they will confiscate your cell phone while you are in the courthouse. Most will return it when you leave, but it is always better to simply leave it in the car. Even if your court allows you to bring your cell phone into the courtroom with you, turn the phone off. Don’t just turn it to vibrate but turn the phone off completely. A vibrating phone is surprisingly loud in a quiet courtroom and if you have an alarm or notification set, it may go off in the courtroom even if your phone is set to vibrate.

Dress Appropriately

A courthouse is a place to dress as professionally as you can. Although you don’t need to go out and buy an expensive suit and tie or designer dress, you do need to dress in nice clothing. Men should choose dress pants, a button-down shirt and tie while women should wear a skirt or dress that comes below the knee. Dress pants are also acceptable for women as long as they accompany the pants with a nice shirt. Jeans, shorts, tank tops and flip-flops are not acceptable attire for courtrooms. In addition, cover your cleavage, thighs, and underwear. It is also suggested that you cover any tattoos, especially those that are gang or prison related. Casual hats, like baseball caps, are also inappropriate in a courtroom.

Patience is Important

Each side has a chance to present their case and you will probably not agree with what the other side says in the courtroom. Outbursts like “that isn’t true” or “I didn’t say that” will not win you points with the judge or jury. Sit quietly with little or no facial expressions. Even eye rolls will be noticed by the judge and the jury. You may lean in and speak quietly to your attorney about what is being said, but even keep those conversations to a minimum. Leave the argument to your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney.

If you are facing a day in court, whether it is civil or criminal, you want the assistance of a criminal defense attorney Las Vegas NV residents trust. Contact Brian J. Smith today by filling out the form online, sending an email to or calling 702-380-8248.