Updated: Mar 15, 2019
We have discussed in the previous DUI Arrest lessons how you should prepare before your first court appearance. Now, it is the moment of truth. You’ll be face to face with the person who will decide your fate, the judge. So in this lesson, I will teach you how to talk to judge in court.
How to Talk to Judge in Court after DUI Arrest
1. Practice standing
Standing is a sign of respect. As soon as the judge arrives, you need to stand. Whenever you talk to the judge, stand. And when he or she leaves the courtroom, stand. Be attentive enough to know when to stand or sit down. If you are not certain, ask the judge or the clerk politely if you can take your seat already.
2. Always start or end your sentence with “Your honor”
Whether it is a simple yes or no, always address the judge as “Your honor.” It is the best way to respect his or her authority as a law keeper. You can’t use hand gestures or facial expressions to talk to the judge. Don’t nod if you agree or shake your head if not. You need to say, “Yes your honor” or “No, your honor.”
3. Don’t ever talk while the judge is talking.
Actually, this is basic communication etiquette regardless of who you are talking to. It’s just disrespectful to not let the judge finish what he or she is saying. It means you don’t value the judge’s opinion and you are being impatient. Even if the judge said something wrong, stay calm and quiet. Talk once you are given the floor. And again, begin with “Your honor.”
4. Watch your voice’s tone. Do NOT insult the judge.
Don’t you dare shout or raise your voice with the judge! The judge can hold you in contempt and put to jail even before you receive your conviction. If ever you’ll start to feel rage building up inside you, take deep breaths. Maintain your composure. And if you can’t take it anymore, politely ask your DUI attorney to request for a recess. Manage your emotions first before entering the court again. Remember to use a calm but not draggy or too excited tone of voice.
5. Use kind words like please and thank you.
Put in mind that you are in court because of DUI arrest. You did something wrong and you are asking for a second chance, a favor. If you want to clarify something, ask nicely. Say, “You honor, I did not understand the question. Can you clarify again please?” Thank the judge for listening after you speak. Be polite and nice always.
How to impress a judge in a courtroom? Watch your body language.
Talking or communicating to the judge is not just spoken words. When it comes to how to talk to a judge in court, action speaks louder than words. You may not open your mouth but your face, hand movement, your posture or even your sweat will say it all. So here’s what you should do to improve your non-verbal communication with the judge.
1. Practice to put your face in a neutral or resting position.
Before you enter the court, look yourself in the mirror or your phone. How do you look? Do you look like you just had a fight? Or just watched a horror movie? Or like crazy? Your face should tell that the judge can trust you and not suspect you more.
2. Keep a good posture.
You would want to have an open posture. Spread your feet a bit and have your palms face outward. Stand up straight, raise your head and keep abdomen and chest exposed. Do this properly and practice for it conveys you are friendly and willing. Sit up straight and avoid slouching or frequent leaning back.
3. Avoid fidgeting.
Fidgeting is one of the most basic signs that you’re nervous or terrified. But for the judge, it may mean you are nervous because you are guilty. So avoid making small movements like bouncing your legs, rubbing your ring or cleaning your glasses repeatedly.
5. Maintain eye contact.
As cliché as it may sound, our eyes are the windows to our soul. Studies have concluded that avoiding eye contact can project that you are not interested, lying or distracted. When the judge talks to you, maintain eye contact but not in a creepy way. Don’t stare too long or give killer eyes. Control your blinking unless you have a medical condition.
5. Watch out for your gestures.
Avoid making gestures while in court for your DUI arrest. Don’t point fingers or wave high to the judge when you see him or her. Do not clench your fist when you hear something that you don’t like. This can mean you are an aggressive person who needs anger management. Finally, do not make the V or peace sign after your trial just to look cool. The criminal court is a formal venue.
I hope these tips on how to talk to judge in court help you stay out of jail. Do you need more DUI arrest lessons? Check them here: