If you’re currently out on bail, you know that you aren’t still safely out of jail. For starters, there are conditions to even being out of jail. Perhaps you paid your bail yourself, or perhaps you opted for a bail bond agency to post the bail for you like so many other people in Florida do. The one thing that a defendant who’s out on bail must do for certain is this: appear in court.
That you’ll be present in all your court hearings is a condition put forth to you when you’re being granted bail. Failing to appear in court means you lose your bail to the court—or, if a bail bond agency posted it for you, you’d lose your collateral. In either case, you become a liability and there might even be an outstanding warrant issued in your name.
Appearing in court, therefore, becomes a must. But is that all?
A 32-year-old man, Manson M Bryant of Ohio, had originally been given 22 years in prison. He was up for charges of aggravated robbery and burglary and the possession of a concealed weapon. When he was in court and when he heard the sentence he must serve, Manson did something no one should ever do: he went on a rant. And not just a rant—it was a rant laden with expletives, and he was targeting the judge. The result? He got 6 more years in prison.
Behaving in court matters because you can make or break your case. If the judge doesn’t like you or thinks you’ll be problematic, you land with a harsher sentence. If the judge likes you, things might turn out differently.
So How Should You Behave in Court?
First impressions are the last impressions. You should show up for your hearing dressed respectably, preferably in a collared suit. Don’t show up in your pajamas or shorts. Remember: overdressing is always better than underdressing. If you dress badly, it might come off as a slight to the system—and you don’t want that.
Don’t talk to the prosecutors, and especially not to the witnesses, and especially not to the victims (if there are any). When addressing the judge, stand up, and always use words like “Sir” or “Ma’am.” Don’t interrupt the proceedings. Keep your calm and show no signs of anger or belligerence.
Remember, the more decorous you can present yourself as in court, the more the chances that the judge and jury will be impressed by you and give you slighter sentences. Antagonizing the court, on the other hand, will only have negative consequences for you.
About Lee Calhoun Bail Bonds
For over 15 years in Gainesville and other Florida locations, Lee Calhoun and his team have been helping defendants post bail. We rely on 24-hour service and if you reach out to us, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.