No one wants to find themselves in a situation where they are going to court. It’s an often terrifying experience to be a part of, no matter what side you’re sitting on or your involvement with the case itself.
Preparing yourself for court is something that involves a lot of preparation and a knowledge of what is to be expected. You also should have a number of things set in place to help ensure you’re prepared for both outcomes should one of them happen.
With that being said, here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for a court battle.
What could you find yourself in court for?
There are many reasons why you could find yourself in a courthouse. Whether it’s on the side of the defence or prosecution, it’s often a stressful time regardless of where you find yourself.
Committing a crime
For some, committing a crime is easy and for others, it may be a case of wanting to do it with intention. Anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. This is something that an accused person should always have in mind.
Some of those who’ve committed a crime may go down the route of a jury-led proceeding or one that’s decided by the judge alone. There may be a number of options available that could also lead to avoiding court altogether.
With that being said, make sure to know your rights and to explore your options.
Being the victim of a crime
Being the victim of a crime is never an enjoyable experience, especially when you may have to face your accuser or accusers in court. Relieving the nightmare all over again is going to take willpower and a lot of support.
There may also be options for you when it comes to appearing in court and being able to appear from a video instead. It’s important to get all of the information from your solicitors in order to understand what’s possible for you.
A witness to the defence or prosecutor
There are some cases in which your involvement may be from a witness’s point of view. Testifying on behalf of the defence or prosecution is something that should be taken seriously and when giving evidence in court, it’s not something that’s taken lightly.
Being well prepared and confident for cross-examination is important as a witness to either side.
7 ways to prepare for a court battle
To prepare yourself for a court battle, there are a number of tips that help ensure this is done properly. For some, going to court is a first-time event and for others, they may well be used to experiencing life inside a courthouse.
Here are several tips to prepare for a court battle.
Pick the best legal team
First and foremost, the best legal team is going to help get you through the tough time ahead. Whether you’re sitting in the defendant’s chair or on the side with the prosecutor, it’s important to have a legal team that is going to back you to the hill and back.
Picking a legal team is something you want to do carefully. You want to pick a legal individual or company that has the experience and knowledge needed to handle your case in particular.
By having the best legal team, it gives you the best chance of walking free or seeing the person convicted, and sentenced accordingly.
Understand the case in its entirety
The case that you’re part of is something that you want to stay informed about. It’s important that you understand what has happened, what could happen, and how everything may play out throughout the court case.
Liaise with your lawyers and make sure to read up on everything and anything that’s related to the case. Whether you’re being prosecuted or you’re sitting on the victim’s side, having knowledge and confidence in the case notes is key.
Take a pen and paper
Talking of notes, it’s important to bring along a pen and paper to any and all court sessions. This is important because you want to take notes on how the case is progressing and any questions you may want to ask your lawyer.
A pen and paper can also be good to help with the anxiety of being in the courthouse and to help with looking professional. Staring off into space or fidgeting might not bode well for those who are watching you closely.
Look after your mental wellbeing
Your mental health is something you definitely want to be conscious of as you go into preparation for a court battle. It’s important that you’re looking after your mental well-being as the whole process can be quite stressful.
If you find yourself in the seat of being a defendant, then you may or may not be currently going back to a jail cell. Of course, this isn’t the best place for your mental health but it can certainly be an opportunity to sit and reflect on the situation you’re in.
For those that get to go home, distracting yourself and keeping busy with anything and everything is going to help greatly in keeping sane during this time.
Create a support network
The support network you have around you is important to concentrate on when it comes to preparing for a court battle.
This support bubble is going to be your comfort blanket, those that will listen to your woes, regardless of what side you’re on. It’s important to have this in place so that you don’t feel alone in your battles. They’ll also be able to motivate you during those times when you may not feel like carrying on.
Make sure you’ve got all of those individuals around you that will help lift you up during these tough times.
Make sure all evidence has been submitted/provided
When it comes to submitting and providing evidence, make sure that all of the potential evidence that you have has been given to your lawyers. It’s important that this is done before the court proceedings begin but additional evidence can be submitted to the court if it is found to have relevance.
Having to go through court proceedings is not a walk in the park, so it’s likely that some materials are forgotten about. Try to keep a level head and focus on what’s important to the case itself.
Dress yourself for the court
Finally, be sure to dress yourself properly for the court. There can often be a certain judgement made depending on what you wear, so it’s important to be careful about what you choose.
Make sure that either way, you are properly dressed in formal attire and that you’ve made yourself up to look presentable. Your lawyer may be able to give you some tips.
How to handle a sentencing that doesn’t feel fair or justified
It may be that you’ve found yourself with an outcome that doesn’t feel fair or justified. For example, you may have been convicted with a felony sentencing. This sentencing might turn out to be not what was expected or possibly worse.
The same goes for those in the victim’s position. It may be that you feel the justice you wanted, hasn’t been handed out. Therefore, there are ways to handle the sentencing that will hopefully help those both in the position of being sentenced and those who find themselves on the prosecution side, seeing the accused walk free.
Not everyone gets the results they want and that’s simply how life goes. Some may get off with a lighter sentence, others will walk free. Some will get a long, life sentence. Whatever the outcome, whether you’re on either side, make sure to stay positive.
It can be easy to lose yourself in the midst of the conviction outcome and so it’s important to just take it all hour by hour, day by day.
Get to grips with the appeals process
For those that are convicted, there may be an appeals process worth exploring if you feel you’ve been given an unfair trial in some way, shape or form. Make sure to get to grips with the appeals process as your lawyer is likely to jump on this quickly.
Set it aside and move on
For those who have been victims or have had to testify as a witness, this period of your life is now over. It’s important that when it comes to the court case, it’s best to set it aside and move on. Of course, depending on the severity of the case, it might be hard to move on initially.
Try to find distractions and new ventures to pursue in order to move away from that chapter in your life. Whether it was the conviction you wanted or not, it’s something that you don’t want consuming your life and wasting your time any longer.
Preparing for a court battle is a tiresome and challenging one. Make sure you’re well prepared and ready for it with these tips.