1. What Should I Wear To Court?
Your appearance in court is important, because it is the first thing the judge will notice about you. If you have a suit (and tie for men), that is always an appropriate choice for court attire. However, if you do not have a suit, slacks and a button-up shirt or polo for men is acceptable; or a dress, skirt, or slacks for women is appropriate. You should not wear jeans or a t-shirt to court. Men should never allow their pants to be sagging or slacking below their waist. Women should not wear clothes that are too tight or revealing.
2. Can I Bring My Cell Phone Into Court With Me?
This depends on the county in which you are appearing. In Mecklenburg County, cell phones are allowed in court. You should make sure, however, that you either turn your cell phone off of make sure that the ringer and vibrate function is turned off (even a constant vibrating can be distracting). In Cabarrus County, cell phones are not allowed in court at all. You will need to leave your cell phone in your car or at home.
3. Who Should I Look At When Answering Questions?
When answering questions, you should direct your answers to the judge. The judge often will not be looking at you, but they are the person making the decisions regarding your case. Also, if they do look over at you while you are answering questions, eye contact can go a long way in establishing the credibility of your testimony.
4. Can I Bring Something To Eat Or Drink Into Court?
You should never bring any food or drink into the courtroom. You should also not chew gum while in court. The courtroom will have bottles of water, or a pitcher and cups, so that your mouth will not get dry if you are nervous, or are testifying for an extended period of time.
5. Will The Other Party (Or Their Attorney) Get To Ask Me Questions?
The other party has a right to cross examine you. So, yes, they will get to ask you questions. However, if they have an attorney, only their attorney will be allowed to ask you questions. Your attorney will go over with you how to respond to such questions. Generally, it is best to keep your answers to the other party’s attorney short and to the point, and allow your attorney to follow up with clarifying questions if something needs more of an explanation.