It is normal to feel nervous before your appearance in court when you are facing criminal charges, especially if the case is being handled in federal court. It is important to prepare yourself for trial because judges will not take kindly to a defendant who is not acting in accordance with expected decorum or who comes unprepared. Preparing for a federal criminal trial requires prior planning, and working with an experienced attorney offers significant benefits. Here are a few ways you can get ready for your criminal trial:

#1. Prepare Your Evidence

One of the most crucial elements of your defense is evidence that you bring to the trial that supports your claim of innocence. Evidence can be in two forms: witness testimony and exhibits. Witnesses can be people who keep records relevant to the case, experts who are qualified to give an opinion about a certain part of the case, or any other people who have relevant information about the case. Exhibits are items that support your side of the case. These things can include documents or other items used to prove your point or disprove the prosecution’s point, records, or photographs. Your attorney will be able to help you prepare the evidence.

#2. Prepare Your Testimony

You should also practice what you will say when you are given the chance to present your side of the case. Your attorney will help you with preparing what you should and should not say during your time on the stand, or advise you as to whether taking the stand is even in your best interests. Your lawyer may advise you to refrain from certain things or to speak up about certain points. Remember that whatever you say can always be used against you.

#3. Plan Your Day in Advance

If there is one thing that looks bad at a criminal trial, it is when the defendant is late. Judges do not take tardiness very well, and it may even damage your case. Arriving late gives the impression that you do not care about the trial or the trouble that you are facing. Plan your trip to the courthouse in advance and leave early so you can arrive with time to spare.

#4. Dress for Success

Another thing that can hurt your chances at a successful outcome is to come dressed casually or sloppily. It is human nature to make judgments based on visual observations, which is why a judge could form an unfavorable opinion of you just based on your outfit. The best thing you can do is to avoid sweatpants and try to avoid jeans. If you must wear jeans, make sure they are a dark wash. Also, wear a top that conveys a level of professionalism. Depending on your style, you might also wear a tie or a dress, but never look like your choice of clothes was rushed.

#5. Contact a Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing criminal charges can be stressful for anyone, and for good reason. Being in trouble with the law can change your life forever if you are convicted and can affect your life even if you are not convicted. If you have been charged with a federal felony or misdemeanor crime, you need the help of an experienced and tenacious Illinois federal criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we have experience dealing with all sorts of criminal cases, including those involving federal sex crimes, drug crimes, and online crimes. Contact our office today to see how we can help you fight your charges. Call the office at 312-270-0999 to set up a free consultation.


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