Are you due to attend court for a motoring or road transport offence, but are unsure of what to expect or how to prepare yourself? Read our article below to ensure you present yourself in the best possible light.
Please read this document carefully before you attend court.
Before attending court it is essential that you understand and apply the following in order to ensure the best possible chance of success and making a good impression.
Arrive early: It is essential that you are on time and allow sufficient time for your journey as cases are usually called on in the order the defendant arrives so PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY. We suggest for a morning court that you are in attendance at 8:45am/9:00am for a 10am hearing or 12:45pm/1.00pm for a 2pm hearing.
Allow sufficient time for parking: If yours is a case where you will be driving to/from court please ensure that you allow sufficient time to park your vehicle and that you purchase sufficient car parking. If your case is listed for 10am we recommend you pay purchase parking at least up until 1pm. If your case is listed for 2pm we advise that you pay for parking until at least 5pm.
Wear appropriate clothing: You should ensure that you wear clothing that would be appropriate for business/smart clothing and always look tidy to make the best impression. Examples of items of clothing that are not suitable to attend court in include flip-flops, trainers, hats, t-shirts and tracksuits.
Report to the usher: Upon arrival please ensure that you report to the usher (person in the gown) usually stood outside the court, as soon as you can. Your case will generally be called on in number order.
Bring documentation: Please ensure that you bring with you to court, if not earlier provided to your solicitor, original letters and documents including character reference letters, your completed means enquiry form (where relevant) and your signed terms of engagement letter. Please hand these to us on arrival.
Listen out for the usher: Legal Advisers generally allow the court ushers to call matters on in order of arrival and generally do not interfere with the running order.
Don’t leave the building: Having given your details and booked in please ensure that you do not leave the building without talking to either an usher or ourselves or you will likely lose your slot. If you are not in the court building when your case is called on your matter is likely to be put down the list and may run over to the afternoon or even another time or date. In this eventuality we reserve the right to revise our costs estimate as per our terms of engagement letter.
Turn your phone off: In court you must ensure that electronic devices are turned off before entering the court. Taking audio/video recordings or photographs is not permitted in court. When entering the court room you will be expected to stand up when the Magistrates enter or exit the court.
Address the court correctly: Before the Magistrates you should address the court as “Sir”, “Mam” or “Madam”. Lawyers may refer to Magistrates as “Your Worships” but this salutation should only be used by legal professionals.
Speak clearly: You should always speak loudly and clearly when addressing the court and answering questions put to you. Always be polite.
Provide details: There is a requirement for you to provide personal information including details of your nationality but as your advocate we shall otherwise address the court on your behalf.
Review your case beforehand: If you are required to give evidence we shall discuss the basic rules of doing so when we meet with you at court or beforehand.
Court room formalities can be intimidating and we are happy to address any concerns you may have either beforehand or when we meet with you at court; call a member of the team on 0800 046 3066
Following these simple guidelines will ensure your appearance at court runs as smoothly as possible.