Will I have to speak or talk when I go to court for my criminal case?
We are often asked by clients whether they will have to speak to the judge when they go to their court date. If you hire a criminal defense attorney, the attorney will typically do most of the talking for you. However, there may be times when you have to speak.
Please keep in mind that different counties handle things differently. For instance, what may be routine in Sarasota, Florida may be very different in Tampa, Florida. Obviously, judges are very different also. Some judges are quick and to-the-point, other judges may like to banter and speak more with the defendants.
When may I have to speak in court?
If you enter a plea (during the plea colloquy)
If you enter an open plea
If you decide to testify at trial
If you are being sentenced
If there is a hearing scheduled in your case
If the judge greets you (you should be polite and say hello!)
For most routine court dates (like arraignments, pretrial conferences, and case management hearings) where there is no plea taken, your attorney can do most (if not all) of the talking for you.
Be sure to speak with a lawyer before you speak in court
If you do decide you want to speak or make a statement in court, remember everything you say is being recorded and could be used against you at a trial or hearing. It is extremely important that you discuss what you would like to say with a criminal defense attorney before you go to court.
If you are unable to discuss it with your attorney in advance of court, you can ask the judge for “a moment to confer with your attorney” so that you can be sure that what you may say is in your best interest and will not be harmful to your case.
If you want an attorney to represent you in court
If you are interested in hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you for your court date, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. If you would like to read more about our attorneys and law firm, please see our homepage here.