When you are going to trial for a crime you are accused of committing, you need to understand the decorum of the courtroom. You simply cannot speak up and talk whenever you feel like doing so. In most circumstances, your lawyer will do the bulk of the speaking for you. There are a few times where you will need to speak, and it is important that you know how to do so properly. The following are some things to keep in mind:
Entering Your Plea
One of your first experiences in the courtroom will be entering your plea. Before you go to court, you will have discussed your plea with your attorney so you will be prepared with what you will say. Once you enter court, the judge will ask you for your plea. You will then say guilty or not guilty. That is all you will need to say. When you speak, always address the judge as "Your Honor."
If You Testify
If you are planning to testify during your trial, this is another opportunity for you to speak in court. You will answer questions both from your own attorney as well as the prosecutor. It is your decision whether or not you wish to testify in your case. If you plan to do so, it is important that you answer all questions very succinctly and directly. You should never get overly emotional on the stand, although it can be difficult not to. However, the prosecutor may try to get you to an emotional state so that you will be more vulnerable with your answers. Just try to remember that the shorter your answers, the better.
When Addressing the Court
In some cases, those who are convicted of a criminal act will have an opportunity to address the court before the ruling has come down with the hopes to possibly sway a decision. At this time, you should read a pre-written statement that you will complete with the help of your attorney. You can ask for a lighter sentence if it appears you are going to be found guilty, or you can declare your innocence. This is also a time to make a statement to the victim or family of the victim to explain your actions or provide words of remorse. This should never be a time when you speak off the cuff. You need to have carefully prepared words at this time.
Contact a criminal lawyer for more help.