Category: Legal

A Good Criminal Defense Attorney Is Your Ally

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Since the attorney you choose will handle your criminal case, which will have a significant impact on the rest of your life, you should take the time to find the right one for you. In order to find an attorney that can assist you in achieving the most favorable outcome for your specific case and circumstances, look for an attorney with exceptional knowledge and who can give you the attention you deserve

Why It’s Vital to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime, you have the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Although you may be reluctant to spend money on a legal advocate, understand that a criminal defense attorney may help you avoid a permanent criminal record as well hefty fines, jail time, a damaged reputation, and a difficult future

An experienced criminal defense lawyer has a thorough understanding of your rights outlined in the United States Constitution and can help ensure you are not being taken advantage of during a criminal investigation and trial. With a criminal defense lawyer by your side, you’ll be able to understand the possible punishments for your crime as well as possible defenses that may reduce those penalties.

uestions to Ask When Hiring a Defense Attorney

Fortunately, most criminal defense attorneys offer a free initial consultation to prospective clients. By taking advantage a free consultation, you can take the time to find out how an attorney’s knowledge and experience will be most beneficial to your case. The questions listed below will help you select an attorney that is the most fitting for your particular situation

How long have you practiced criminal law? Since criminal law is constantly evolving, you need an attorney who has a great deal of experience handling criminal cases and stays up-to-date on the law and criminal defense strategies

 

Why I Chose To Be A Criminal Defense Lawyer

As a criminal defense attorney you hear this question a lot and it’s a hard one to answer. Most people expect a very legal-sounding response. One that goes something like this

I defend people because without good, competent defense the constitution has no value. If people are charged with crimes and we don’t have a system in place to ensure fair treatment, then the system can become out of balance.

But that’s not the whole truth. While being a “cause” attorney or “constitutional warrior” has benefits, for me, preserving our constitutional rights is merely a fringe benefit of the job I love. The real truth is that for me and many other criminal defense lawyers that I know, the main benefit is making a huge difference in the lives of some really great people. Those “people” can be your father; your mother; a brother or sister; or your child. The real truth is that they are human beings and many of those human beings, I learn to really care about during my time defending them.

Have they done wrong? Sometimes they’ve done a whole lot of wrong, some really bad things. But if I’ve learned nothing else as a criminal defense attorney, I’ve learned this: every human being has some good inside of them if you look for it.

My job is to look for and find the good in each client I defend. My mission as a criminal defense lawyer is to uncover all those great qualities my client has demonstrated over the course of his or her life. Once I get to the truth and understand the admirable and good parts of the person, I get the privilege of being a storyteller on their behalf.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

Criminal defense attorneys carry the important responsibility of ensuring that persons who have been accused of crimes receive just treatment under the law. Under the 6th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, persons who have been accused of criminal acts are entitled to a “speedy and public trial,” and an “impartial jury.” In a criminal trial the prosecuting attorney must show the jury “beyond a reasonable doubt,” that the defendant committed the crime.

By representing a client, a criminal defense attorney essentially acts as his or her voice before the jury. It is therefore very important that the criminal defense attorney understand and argue the facts of the client’s case well. If the accused was involved in the crime, but to a lesser extent than the prosecution claims, the defense attorney must provide the jury with the information necessary to assess the defendant’s degree of guilt

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Take the necessary time to visit different criminal defense attorneys before choosing who will represent you. A well-experienced attorney will help you to understand the legal battle before you and will guide you through the legal process. When you are interviewing potential attorneys, be sure to take note of their experience handling cases similar to yours, their attention to the details of your case, and their ability to explain what you should expect during a trial

WHAT TO BRING AND WHAT TO ASK

Before meeting with a criminal defense attorney, prepare a summary of information regarding your case. This information will help the attorney understand the details of your case and will help you to explain. In your summary

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY FEES

It is well worth the cost to hire the best representation you can afford, but make sure you know what services you will be charged for and how much they will cost before signing

 

Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

Question:

How do I pick the best attorney for my criminal case?

Answer:

When you’re facing a criminal charge, it’s imperative that you contact someone who you believe is going to serve your interest best as far as criminal defense goes. You need to contact a criminal defense attorney who’s experienced in the local jurisdiction that you’re in, who knows the judges, knows the prosecutors, and can communicate effectively with them. You want someone who will be thorough and diligent in assessing the evidence and the facts of your case. The right attorney will be someone who will listen to you because there’s always two sides to every story

In doing so, you need to also pick someone who’s going to be trustworthy and who you will be comfortable going through this process with because your liberty may be at stake depending on the charge that you are facing. You need to be trusting of the representation that you have retained. Contact an experienced, local criminal defense attorney to assess your situation.

Were you or a loved one arrested or accused of a crime and have questions about choosing a criminal defense attorney?

I talked to a young man recently who was accused of a crime in Connecticut. We practice, but we found this criminal defense attorney in Connecticut that did a great job with their online educational resources. If you or someone you know has concerns or questions about a criminal case in Connecticut, take a look at this criminal defense attorney.

 

Criminal Defense Lawyer: Job Description and Requirements

To become a criminal defense lawyer the first step is to complete a bachelor’s degree. After that, three years of law school to obtain a Juris Doctor degree are necessary. Criminal defense attorneys must also pass the state bar exam.

Essential Information

Criminal defense lawyers represent clients or organizations who have been accused of criminal misconduct. Criminal defense lawyers employed by the government are known as public defenders. A criminal defense lawyer researches, prepares and argues a case on the behalf of a client in order to defend them from the criminal charges. Like all attorneys, they must earn a bachelor’s degree, then complete three years of law school, specializing in criminal defense, before taking their state’s bar exam. The job of a criminal defense lawyer can pay well and may be prestigious, but the work is often stressful and the hours can be long and irregular

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Seven years of education are required to be a criminal defense lawyer. Four years are spent at the undergraduate level. The specific major of the bachelor’s degree an aspiring criminal defense lawyer earns isn’t typically important, but maintaining good grades and acquiring research, investigative, analysis and communication skills are recommended.

Job Description

Criminal defense lawyers typically work at least 40 hours a week, but longer hours are common. Additionally, work hours may be irregular because evenings and weekends may be required by clients or law firms. New criminal defense lawyers usually join up with an existing firm; however many go on to open up their own firms. Criminal defense lawyers regularly travel to courtrooms, law libraries, prisons, hospitals, offices and the homes of clients

Job Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all criminal defense lawyers need to be licensed with the state. To be admitted to the bar association, a written examination is completed in addition to an ethics examination. There is no nationwide bar examination, but the majority of states use the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

Tips To Find Good Divorce Lawyer

How to Find a Good Divorce Attorney

When you’ve decided that your marriage is no longer working, it can be tough to navigate the legal nuances of divorce. You will want to find an attorney who will act on your behalf in a competent and professional manner. Depending on your situation and how amicable your divorce is, there are several options for getting the legal assistance you need

Decide whether you need an attorney. Before beginning your divorce attorney search you should first consider whether a divorce attorney is actually necessary.[1] If you and your spouse can resolve the situation amicably, and have no marital property, it is possible to file for divorce pro se, ie. without the assistance of an attorney. In fact, most divorces don’t require court proceedings, especially if there are no children involved and the divorce will not be contested

Consider using an experienced mediator if you and your spouse’s relationship is amicable and you foresee comfortable and friendly negotiations. A mediator can work with you and your spouse to come up with a division of assets agreement that is agreeable to both parties. After the assets have been divided, you and your spouse can file for divorce on your own

Give yourself and your spouse some time before officially filing for divorce. You and your spouse can reduce both the fear and perception of the need to “lawyer-up” by mutually agreeing not to take any steps that will materially affect either of your financial situations. Even if you later decide to retain a lawyer, the divorce process will be much easier if you try to cooperate with your spouse

Evaluate you and your spouse’s financial situation. While many attorneys provide general divorce services, others specialize in divorces involving children, high-net worth individuals, and some lawyers even choose to represent only husbands or only wives in divorce proceedings

 

Steps To Choosing The Right Divorce Lawyer

Be realistic.

First, you need to realize that divorce is a legal process with the sole purpose of dissolving your assets and resolving custody issues. Your divorce attorney’s job is to represent you to the best of his or her ability in this process. While you might want them to listen to your anger, frustration, pain and sadness, that is not their job. They are not trained to be your therapist or coach, and they don’t want to be. Since your attorney has higher rates and the clock is always running, it’s a gross misuse of your money if this is how you’re using them. And divorce attorneys have seen it all. What seems immensely important to you might barely register for them within the scope of the legal process. So be realistic about the role of your divorce attorney, and what you can expect from them

Stay focused on the goal.

Your ultimate goal in this process is to get divorced, and hopefully you can do so without any major depreciation of your lifestyle. Don’t let your emotions jump in and run rampant when it comes to negotiating over material things that don’t mean much to you in the big picture. If you do, your divorce will be longer, more litigious, and definitely more expensive than otherwise. Is it worth it? No. So keep your focus on getting divorced as quickly, and with as little financial damage, as possible. Ask yourself, what kind of divorce will do that for me?

Know what you want.

Before you rush out to hire a divorce attorney, consider other alternatives to traditional litigation. If you aren’t completely entangled with children and finances, you could hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is the fastest, cheapest way to get divorced, and you might not need to hire an attorney at all! If your negotiation is more complicated, you’ll have to hire a divorce lawyer to negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorney. Or you could consider a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is focused on negotiation with the goal of preserving a co-parenting relationship. Your last resort is a litigated trial. Typically, these are the cases when neither side will compromise. So you need to determine what type of divorce attorney you need based on your unique circumstances. Realize that any divorce attorney you talk to will try to steer you in the direction of their own specific expertise. It’s up to you to know what you want first, so you can make the right choice

Identify at least three potential attorneys.

Don’t jump to hire the first lawyer you meet. They are not all the same. Find at least three divorce attorneys that you can interview before making your decision. Clearly, you need to hire a lawyer that specializes in family law and one that’s experienced in the specific type of divorce you think is best for you. The ideal attorney has the legal knowledge and experience you need, helps you understand the process, communicates and negotiates well, solves problems creatively and is experienced in your specific court system. So you need one that’s local to you. Regardless of whether or not your divorce is headed to trial, your attorney needs to be experienced with the family law judges in your jurisdiction so that he or she can advise you appropriately on legal strategy. How do you find potential attorneys? Ask you friends for personal recommendations. Ask your trust or estate lawyer for divorce attorney recommendations. Go online to the numerous websites that provide client reviews of attorneys local to you.

Interview and research potential attorneys.

Start with an initial phone call. Ask them about their experience and specialization within family law. Ask them about what type of client they typically represent. Ask them about their rates. Most divorce lawyers charge an hourly fee and require a retainer — a fee charged in advance. Some lawyers will also negotiate fees based on anticipated settlements. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) on a meeting if they’re out of your cost range. Most divorce attorneys provide a free consult to discuss your specific situation and what their legal approach would be. So take advantage of it to gather as much legal advice as possible! Typically, the attorney you meet with will not be handling the day-to-day issues related to your case, so ask to meet the colleague or associate that would. The divorce process can also include financial experts, parenting coordinators, coach facilitators, and forensic appraisers. Find out your attorney’s access to these resources and if any would be relevant to your case, as it will affect overall cost. And even if you have no intention of heading to trial, look at the attorney’s trial record and history of success in court. This track record is an indicator of your attorney’s success in negotiation.

 

How to Find a Divorce Lawyer Who Won’t Screw You Over

now that you and your partner have made the difficult decision to get divorced, you have to set about the task of finding a lawyer. Unfortunately, it’s not something that you can resolve with just a simple Google search. Before settling on a divorce lawyer to oversee your proceedings, you have to make sure you haven’t left a single stone unturned

Do. Your. Homework.

Just like any other major decision in your life, you want to make sure that you go into the divorce process with your eyes wide open and as well-informed as possible

Know What You Want

Before you settle on a lawyer, ask yourself what it is that you’re hoping to get from them. Are you looking for a lawyer who’s emotionally supportive? An impersonal but focused attorney? Are you looking for a team or a one-on-one personal experience?

Ask Around

If you know of friends or family members who’ve been through a divorce, definitely reach out to them and ask for advice and suggestions on who they went with and how it worked out for them. “However,” says Benjamin Valencia II, a partner and certified family law specialist, with Meyer, Olson, Lowy, and Meyers, “it is important to remember that every case is different and just because one lawyer was great in a friend’s case does not mean he is right for your case.”

Meet with More Than One Lawyer

Part of the research process for a good divorce lawyer should include multiple meetings with various attorneys. This will allow you to see how each lawyer will approach your divorce and what they will do to build the best possible case

 

How do I find a good divorce attorney?

What Type of Attorney do I Need?

When you’re getting a divorce, you’ll need an attorney who is experienced in family law matters. A old college friend who now practices medical malpractice law isn’t likely to be the best choice to handle your divorce. Different areas of the law have different rules and requirements. Attorneys in each practice area have different skill sets. Divorce can be a complex process and it’s essential to have an attorney who knows the nuances of family law and is familiar with your local court’s rules and judges

Can My Spouse and I Share an Attorney?

The short answer is “no.” The professional rules of conduct governing lawyers prohibit attorneys from representing both spouses in a divorce. This would create a conflict of interest for the attorney, since your interests, rights, and needs in a divorce are adverse to your spouse’s. A single attorney can’t ethically give good legal advice to two people in adverse positions.

How Do I Know If an Attorney Is the Right fit?

You should interview any prospective attorney just as you would someone who was applying to work for you. You need to like your attorney. It’s also important that you have confidence in your lawyer’s abilities and respond well to communication style. Some lawyers pride themselves on an aggressive demeanor, while others highlight their ability to collaborate and settle most divorces without a drawn-out courtroom battle.

What Resources Are Available?

If you’re unsure where to begin your search, you can start by reviewing Nolo’s Lawyer Directory. Nolo’s online directory allows you to look for attorneys by practice area and provides a detailed profile with each attorney’s experience, philosophy, and expertise. Your local state bar is another resource for finding an attorney trained to handle divorces.

 

How to Find a Good Divorce Attorney and Avoid a Fighter Attorney

One quick search for a divorce attorney on Google or in the White Pages and you’re likely to find 100 attorneys ready, willing, and able to take your case. However, when it’s time to hire someone to be your advocate, what qualities matter most? Sure, many attorneys may promise to be the best choice for your case, but before you sign on the dotted line to hire someone, it’s essential to do your research

Hiring a “Pit Bull” Attorney

If you’re considering a divorce, or if your ex recently filed for divorce, it’s not uncommon for your first instinct to be to hire the most aggressive “Pit Bull” attorney in your area. Of course, it’s natural to want to protect your parental rights, your personal property, and your money, but hiring an attorney who wages a battle over every issue in your case may end up costing you more in the long run.

Finding a Good Divorce Attorney

First and foremost, look for an attorney with experience and knowledge of your state divorce laws. Although it can be overwhelming to search for a quality attorney, asking your friends or family for personal recommendations may be the best first step in finding the right attorney for you.

When you’re calling attorneys, one of the essential qualities to look for is honesty and someone who willing to tell you what you may not want to hear. Many divorce clients expect to hear that they will walk away from the divorce with everything they want, but a good divorce attorney won’t tell you that, especially during the first meeting.

A quality divorce attorney isn’t afraid to tell you that you may need to pay your ex spousal support, or that you must sell your marital home to pay your marital debts. Although hearing that the court will probably award your spouse 50% of your retirement accounts isn’t pleasant, it’s your attorney’s job to tell you all the news, not just the good.

How To Make A Family Law Attorney

What is Family Law?

Family law is a legal practice area that focuses on issues involving family relationships, such as adoption, divorce, and child custody, among others. Attorneys practicing family law can represent clients in family court proceedings or in related negotiations and can also draft important legal documents such as court petitions or property agreements. Some family law attorneys even specialize in adoption, paternity, emancipation, or other matters not usually related to divorce.

States have the right to determine “reasonable formal requirements” for marriage, including age and legal capacity, as well as the rules and procedures for divorce and other family law matters. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, some states restricted marriage (and divorce) to opposite-sex couples only.

Helpful Terms to Know

  • Emancipation: A court process through which a minor becomes self-supporting, assumes adult responsibility for his or her welfare, and is no longer under the care of his or her parents.
  • Marital Property: Property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage that is subject to division upon divorce.
  • Alimony: An allowance made to one spouse by the other for support during or after a legal separation or divorce.
  • Paternity: Origin or descent from a father (to establish paternity is to confirm the identity of a child’s biological father).
  • Prenuptial Agreement: An agreement made between a man and a woman before marrying in which they give up future rights to each other’s property in the event of a divorce or death.

Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney

Most family lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and other matters related to divorce. But family law is a relatively broad practice area, including such issues as foster care and reproductive rights. Since family law matters hit so close to home, having a trusted legal professional by your side can help you ensure your loved ones are properly represented and protected during any legal process.

The most common reasons to hire a family law attorney include:

  • Divorce: Each partner hires his or her own attorney, who will help devise a settlement plan in order to avoid a trial. Divorce attorneys typically are skilled at dividing marital property, calculating spousal support, and proposing a plan for child custody, visitation, and support (if applicable).
  • Child Custody / Child Support: Court orders and settlement agreements involving both custody and support usually are included in the larger divorce case, but may be revisited as conditions change. For instance, child support may be altered after the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes.
  • Paternity: In most cases, paternity cases are filed by the mother in an effort to secure child support payments from an absent father. But sometimes biological fathers file for paternity in order to have a relationship with their child. Paternity typically is determined through DNA testing.
  • Adoption / Foster Care: Adoption is a complex process that differs according to the type of adoption, where the child is from, variances in state laws, and other factors. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney. Foster parents sometimes adopt their foster children, but the foster process does not necessarily require legal representation.

 

5 Things a Family Lawyer Can Do For You

Family lawyers are legal professionals that specialize in matters to do with family law. They handle legal issues that are concerned with members of the family. Such legal issues include divorce, child custody, and guardianship among others. Family lawyers can act as mediators when family disagreements develop. They can also represent litigants in family conflicts that end up courts. Below are some of the things that family lawyers can do.

  1. Handling Divorce Issues

Undergoing a divorce is probably one of the most draining experiences that a family can face. Emotions may set in and make it impossible for a couple to settle it calmly. In such a case, a family law attorney can act as a mediator, and assist them to approach the issue rationally and within the law. In other words, a competent family law attorney can assist couples in the process of divorcing to settle the matter fairly without necessarily going to court. Consult Austin Lawyer Referral Service to refer you to a knowledgeable family lawyer.

  1. Handling Estates and Wills

A will is a legal document through which people state how they would wish their property to be managed when they die. Family law attorneys are responsible for assisting people in drafting these documents. They also have what it takes to ensure that an estate is administered as stated by a deceased via the will.

  1. Handling Child Custody Agreements

When a couple separates, one of the most difficult issues to handle has to be what happens to the children. Couples need to agree on how to take care of the children they have had together in the new arrangement. Child custody is defined by an agreement in which both parents have to live with the terms therein. A competent family lawyer can help parents that are parting ways to draft such an agreement. A family law attorney can also help parents in amending child custody agreements if need be.

  1. Handling Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by a couple prior to a marriage or a civil union. Although the content of such a contract may vary from one case to another, its main aim is to spell out the provisions of spousal support and division of the property in the event of a breakup or a divorce. A family lawyer can assist a couple in drafting a prenuptial agreement and handling any matters that may arise from the contract according to the law.

  1. Represent Litigants in Court

Although family attorneys can help people to settle family disputes outside court, some of these matters still end up in the courts. In such a case, family lawyers are best suited to help litigants get justice. These attorneys handle such cases almost every other day, and therefore, they have the necessary legal knowledge and practical experience to help litigants to navigate the complex jungles of the family law and ensure that justice is served accordingly.

The Takeaway

Overall, it is apparent that the importance of family law attorneys cannot be overemphasized. They help members of families to rationally handle family disputes that would otherwise be crowded by emotions. These lawyers have knowledge and experience to help people settle issues relating to divorce, child custody, prenuptial agreement and estate administration among other legal issues affecting families. Thus, if you are having a family legal matter that needs a rational approach, contact Austin Lawyer Referral Service for a qualified family law attorney.

 

4 Reasons Why You Might Need a Family Lawyer

Deciding whether or not you need a family law attorney in Austin can be a difficult decision. Depending on your family dynamics, a family law attorney might be a great idea. Here are 4 reasons why you might need a family lawyer:

  • Problems with Divorce

Navigating divorce can be a very tricky topic. There are many laws surrounding divorce and many moving parts in a divorce proceeding. From making decisions about assets, alimony or child support, a family law attorney can be very beneficial to help ensure that these proceedings go according to plan and needs. A family lawyer can make sure your rights are protected and you get everything you are entitled to.

  • Adoption Issues

We are aware that adopting a child is a major step for your family. We are here to help with all the details and legal processes of your state. You want to make sure that you do the adoption process correctly and that there are no delays keeping you from gaining the newest member of your family.

  • Settling Child Custody

Child custody is an often difficult and contentious topic. We know how messy child custody can be. Having a good family lawyer is necessary to ensure a smooth child custody transition. If there are any issues in your child custody battle, then we know how to help solve this issue. A great lawyer referral service of Central Texas can point you in the right direction to find a competent family lawyer to settle even the messiest of child custody battles.

  • Guardianship

We are aware of what guardianship means for your family. Choosing to have a guardian for a family member can be a lengthy and confusing process. Without a family lawyer, we know you might get lost in the sea of paperwork a guardianship requires. To make sure that guardianship is done correctly, a family lawyer is an excellent idea.

 

How to Find Legal Help When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

Cheap and free alternatives exist, but finding them can be a trial.

USUALLY WHEN YOU HIRE an attorney, it’s to avoid being drained financially by an ex-spouse, former business partner or adversary who wants to sue you. But what do you do when you need a lawyer to protect your assets and paying for one is out of the question? In a criminal proceeding, if you can’t afford legal assistance, a court will appoint an attorney for you. In a civil case, generally described as a dispute between two private parties, to get legal representation, you have to get creative.

Here’s how to find legal help if you can’t afford a lawyer:

  • Look to legal aid societies.
  • Visit a law school.
  • Contact your county or state bar association.
  • Go to small claims court.
  • Try pricing attorneys.
  • Represent yourself in court.

Depending on your situation, you can employ a variety of strategies to get free or cheap legal assistance.

 

8 Things You Should Never Say to a Judge While in Court

There are many, many times in life when it’s just best to not speak up — you just might say something that’s a real deal breaker. For example, if you get stopped by a cop? Zip it. And if you’re appearing in court before a judge? Zip it. At least until he asks you something. Judges can be very strict about their courtroom rules and you certainly don’t want to say something that would affect your outcome.

  1. Anything that sounds memorized

According to court reporting company Cook & Wiley, it’s crucial that you speak to the judge in your own words — never, ever deliver a planned speech. Should you memorize things it might make some of your testimony sound rehearsed, and in turn, unconvincing. Here are a few things you can do so your answers don’t sound like you’ve been coached:

  • Speak in your own words.
  • Before the trial, think about the matter you’ll be answering questions about so you have at least an idea of what you want to say.
  • Jog your memory by picturing relevant aspects of the case, such as places, things, and people.
  1. Anything angry

Judges don’t like when you get angry in their courtrooms — it makes you see less objective and more like you’re exaggerating. Even if you feel you’ve been wronged, says Cook & Wiley, keep your temper in check and be courteous. Avoid being sarcastic, too, because that can come off as angry — and the judge won’t like it, either.

  1. ‘They didn’t tell me … ’

If you come to court unprepared, never tell a judge that the court staff didn’t tell you to bring a document or form with you on your court date, according to FindLaw. Judges see defendants come to court unprepared quite often, and it rightfully makes them mad. Don’t make excuses to the judge and blame your issue on someone else. Instead, be contrite and apologize sincerely to the judge.

  1. Any expletives

Cursing and screaming at a judge might just get you thrown in jail for contempt, according to FindLaw. So, don’t curse in the courtroom. Judges don’t appreciate it and it’s disrespectful for all concerned. Like your temper, keep your bad language under wraps and you’ll be OK.

  1. Any of these specific words

There are certain words you should never say to a judge, according to A2L Consulting. If you incorporate these words into your courtroom vocabulary, you will not sound approachable or trustworthy. Because you want people — particularly the judge — to relate to you in the courtroom, just speak like you would to your friends. Here are the words you should never throw at a judge:

  • Notwithstanding
  • But for
  • Whereas
  • Assuming arguendo
  • Aforementioned
  • Heretofore
  1. Anything that’s an exaggeration

Don’t make generalized statements to a judge — ever, says Cook & Wiley. You will often have to correct it. Even if you need a few seconds to think about your answer, it’s important to respond accurately and carefully. It’s also key to avoid exaggerating. Judges have a keen sense of when people do it — and they don’t like it. Obviously, you should never lie to a judge, either. That is called perjury, and it’s a crime for which you will be punished if you are caught.

  1. Anything you can’t amend

Making definitive statements about what you recall can get you in trouble, according to Cook & Wiley. Unless you are absolutely certain about something, keep a lid on it. Never saying something such as, “That’s all that was said,” or “Nothing else happened.”

Instead, try something along the lines of, “That’s all I recall” or “That’s all I remember happening.” This way, if you remember more details after you think about it you can amend your statement.

  1. Any volunteered information

When you get in front of a judge, do yourself a favor: Answer only the questions he asks you. Never volunteer information the judge doesn’t ask you for, warns Cook & Wiley. Give clear, short answers to questions — the judge couldn’t care less about your observations. Make sure you state only your own opinions, too; don’t give the judge information that someone told you unless he specifically asks you for it.