Going to court for any reason can be nerve-wracking. Regardless of why you’re there, it’s typically a new experience that can trigger nervousness in even the most courageous individuals.
The good news is, there are many things you can do to limit nervousness before and during your day in court.
Review and organize your paperwork the night before – Being mentally and physically prepared is always your biggest advantage.
Visualize what will happen – Walk yourself through the day so you can simply focus on your purpose once you arrive.
Arrive early – Plan on pulling into a full parking lot and waiting to get in the door. It’s always good practice to arrive early for every meeting – court is no exception.
Don’t wear metal, belts or jewelry – This will get you in the door quickly and will be one less thing to worry about. Avoid every unnecessary distraction possible.
Find your name on the court calendar – The earlier the better. This will allow you to pre-plan where you need to be so you aren’t rushing to the courtroom and elevating your heart rate as you walk through the door.
Be ready to wait – It could take a while. Make sure your schedule is clear and plan on sitting or standing for a prolonged period of time. That’s just the way it works.
Be confident – Telling yourself that everything will go well works wonders for building confidence when it matters most.
Slow down and breathe – Once you’re in the courtroom, it’s important to slow down, talk at a normal pace, breathe and remember why you’re there. Keep it simple. Overcomplicating things leads to nervousness, which usually leads to an undesirable outcome.
Simply following these steps doesn’t mean your courtroom experience will be exactly what you expect, but it does mean that you’ll be prepared and confident in the face of the justice system, and in most cases, that can make all the difference. If you have further questions about the ins and outs of a courtroom, criminal defense attorney Jon McConnell is here to help.