PSA: Criminal Defendant Edition

With my previous externship as a prosecutor I had the chance to interact with a lot of defendants. Before you start thinking I’m too fancy, I handled light misdemeanors (driving without privs, kids with beer, that sort of thing) and infractions (such as dog off leash tickets). I LOVED IT. Mainly because these weren’t SVU-gnarly crimes, just “what were you thinking” crimes. As my dad said, I wasn’t working with criminals, I was working with scofflaws. Remember that adage about first impressions? it matters even with traffic court. If you ever find yourself in court for something, no matter how small you think it is, please just make an effort.

Heres my tips:

  • Don’t take a nap in the gallery while you are waiting.
  • Don’t hint to me that you are currently high while at court.
  • Shave the ironic mustache, no one can take you seriously.
  • If you are getting a mugshot, try and look glum. Don’t smile like its funny. Don’t turn it into a glamour shot.
  • Don’t wolf-whistle the prosecutor. Because the judge will find out and you will be admonished. Severely.
  • Don’t try and lie when we ask what happened. We have the police report. It just pisses everyone off.
  • Don’t abscond mid trial because things aren’t going so well for you. Well, it was a misdemeanor, and then youll have a 100k bond.
  • In general, if the cop does you a favor like not arresting you for an arresting offense  don’t think that he actually left the scene and isn’t watching you as you continue the same behavior that got you the citation. You will be arrested and have two charges!

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