Regardless of whether or not you are guilty, if you are are being taken to court, you want to make sure that you get the jury on your side. This is difficult because you will usually not speak directly to the jury, as a defendant, and you have no way of directly communicating to them what happened. You are only able to tell your side of the story and hope that they will take you seriously. In order to make sure that you improve the chances of getting the jury on their side and having them think well of you, follow these tips.

1. Dress Appropriately

Juries care what people look like. If you show up in dirty clothing, they are not going to like you and are going to be more likely to listen to the prosecuting attorney, who will be dressed correctly. However, if you have your hair neat and are wearing a suit and tie or a skirt that covers your knees and a jacket, and nice shoes, then you are going to be able to give the jury the impression that you take the court case seriously and are a member of society. By fulfilling societal expectations with regards to dress, you will be able to avoid having a jury reject you immediately.

If you are going to be coming straight from jail, ask your criminal defense attorney to bring you a set of civilian clothes so that you can change before the proceedings begin. This will allow you to get rid of any association between you and the guilt of being in prison.

2. Speak Calmly and Get Emotional When Appropriate

For the most part, you are going to want to appear to be a calm and rational human being. You will want to be the type of person who is able to answer questions from the criminal defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney without breaking into a sweat or losing your cool. However, if you are talking about something that is personally sad, such as someone you love dying, you can allow yourself to shed a few tears or quaver your voice. Doing so will help the jury empathize with you as a human being and have a higher opinion of you.

3. Look Attentive

Finally, you are going to want to make sure that you stay awake during the proceedings in order to show the jury that you are taking everything seriously. Some people, when nervous, fall asleep during long meetings or courtroom appearances. Do whatever you have to do, including drinking water or a caffeinated beverage, eating mints, or doodling. Just make sure that the doodling looks as though you are taking notes.

For more information, talk to your criminal defense attorney.