Your court appearance for bail is an important moment; and it can be nerve wracking if you are not prepared. Bail Agent Network has put together a step by step list of tips to help prepare you for your bail appearance.
Double Check Where You’re Going
Before your court date for bail it is important to know where you are going. No one wants to run late or get lost right before a court hearing. Make the time to go on an earlier date and find where you must check in and the courtroom you will be in. Doing this will help boost your confidence and lower your risk for being late.
Show Up Early
Along with knowing where you are going, you should also make sure to show up early for your bail appearance. Traffic can slow you down and security checks always take longer than expected, so leave earlier to give yourself a buffer. Ideally, having 10 minutes to relax once you get to court, check in, and take a seat will help you feel less rushed and more at ease. Don’t forget to breathe and try to stay relaxed!
Dress As Nicely as You Can
For any court appearance, and bail appearances are no exception, you need to dress as nicely as you can. Church clothes or a nice button-up shirt and pants are ideal. If you don’t have anything appropriate; asking around to family or friends might be worthwhile. If you still don’t have access to dress clothing, just aim for the best look you can: nicer sneakers are better than flip flops, pants better than shorts, and make sure things aren’t wrinkled or stained. Dressing nicely shows you are prepared and can help your first impression with the judge.
Come Prepared With Your Paperwork
Make sure to bring any and all documents you may need. Examples of some paperwork you should bring are:
- The Courthouse addresses and directions so you know where you are headed
- Personal identification such as drivers license, passport, or Social Security card
- Case related documents for your bail appearance
Pay Attention Rather Than Getting Impatient
Being also early has its perks. It allows you to watch how other hearings go and see what the judge is like. Notice what makes him or her upset and make note so you can avoid it. Once you are in the courtroom it is very important to pay attention during your bail hearing. Make sure you are listening to the judge and answering when appropriate. Being engaged will show that you care and are invested in the hearing.
Earn the Easy “Points” With Respectful Speech
When you are before the judge, answer the questions respectfully and directly; if they don’t ask for certain information, don’t give it. Being clear and respectful makes the process faster, but it also makes the judge happier, which can’t hurt.