Every year, there’s new research that proves that getting arrested can have a lasting impact on people. You’re aware that your mugshot is now publicly available—it is, in fact, even public domain. And if you think state laws could perhaps swoop in and save the day, think again: in Florida, mugshots are and always have been “a matter of public record.”
You’re also aware that the news of your arrest will spread, reach your employer, friends, and family. Naturally, you see your life crumbling before you. Everything that matters to you is threatened.
Panic is an unsurprising, natural outcome in this circumstance.
Panic in the Court Room: A Case Study
It’s not rocket science: when you’re in a situation that you know can destroy everything you’ve worked for, you’re going to panic. Anybody would. When even Supreme Court Justices can have panic attacks before a hearing, you’re okay.
Maybe you don’t know this, but panic disorders are medically recognized. 35–50% of adults have at least one panic attack in their lives, and 6.8% of people frequently have them. It might be something that can’t be helped—but it can be dealt with.
Anxiety is just your body’s way of preparing you for danger: it’s a coping mechanism. Some might even say it’s necessary, because if anxiety wasn’t around, you wouldn’t prepare yourself for the worst.
In certain cases, though, such as inside a courtroom when you’re awaiting judgment, anxiety and panic can get out of control. And the courtroom is the one place where you want to maintain your composure.
Understanding Panic Attacks
Understand that panic attacks are very abrupt and intense. You can never tell when they’re going to happen, and you can never tell how bad they’ll be. Whatever the case, there are always ways of telling a panic attack is coming:
- Your breathing becomes difficult, jagged, and arrhythmic
- You experience trembling, shivering, cold
- Your heart feels like it’s pounding against your chest
- You might feel pain in your chest. Some people even mistake a panic attack for a heart attack
So How Do You Manage Panic Attacks in a Court Room?
As soon as you feel like you’re getting a panic attack, try the following steps:
- Take deep breaths and focus on your breathing. The trick to controlling hyperventilation is to control your breathing.
- Keep telling yourself that this will pass, that it happens, that it’s alright.
- Shut your eyes. Often, panic attacks are triggered by something—if it’s a visual detail around you that’s triggering you, you might be able to blur it out by closing your eyes.
- Focus on something. Choose anything and try focusing on it. This will help you practice mindfulness.
- Try and relax your muscles. Panic attacks your whole body, and you might feel like you’re “frozen in place.”
- Inform a law enforcement officer around you, or make a request to be excused for a couple of minutes because you’re not feeling well. Don’t attempt to talk or defend yourself while you’re having a panic attack.
We’re sure the judge will understand. Take your time, and don’t dismiss the attack.
About Lee Calhoun Bail Bonds
Lee Calhoun’s expert bail bond agency has been serving Florida for 15 years and more, with operations in Gainesville and in the surrounding areas. If you have other questions about how to behave in court, or if you’d like to procure bail for a loved one, give them a call at (352) 379-9100 today.