Client Guide – How do I present my best to the court, telephonically?

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On June 8, 2020

How do I present my best to the court, telephonically?

If you read our blog from last week, then you know that more and more courts have been scheduling hearings, virtually, due to COVID-19. Some courts are even considering making virtual hearings a new ‘normal’, and might continue to hold virtual court even after the health concerns with COVID-19 have passed.  In our last blog, we highlighted some great ‘video etiquette’ to help you present yourself to the court as professionally and respectfully as possible. But what about telephonic hearings?

Different courts are using different platforms and software.  Sometimes a court opts for a video appearance, but sometimes a telephonic appearance suffices. While you will need different equipment and capabilities depending on the platform, there are some general guidelines that apply across the board:

Telephonic Appearances

1. Find a quiet place

Make sure that you are in a quiet place where you have good phone reception. Of course, if you are using a cellphone, make sure it’s charged!

2. Paperwork

Have a copy of your plea documents in front of you in case the Judge has questions about specific portions. Some Judges reference particular parts to ensure you’ve reviewed the documents  before signing them.  You don’t need to expect a quiz, but particularly with telephonic pleas, where a Judge cannot see your facial expressions or gestures, a hint of uncertainty can affect your ability to proceed with the hearing.

3. Speak clearly

When you’re on the line, in addition to your attorney, you will also have the prosecutor, Judge, and court clerk on the line. Speak clearly so that everything you say will be caught in the recording and become part of the “court record.”

4. Be heard

Make sure that your microphone is working. Try to avoid using speaker phone, if possible, unless you are certain that the connection is strong.

5. Muting

Sometimes you are on a docket with other people who are also resolving their cases. If your case is not the one being currently handled by the Judge, try to mute your microphone so no sounds or white noise from your end interfere with the audio.

6. Confidentiality

Keep in mind that when you are on a conference line with all of the other parties, that you will NOT be able to speak with your attorney privately. Make sure to ask all of your questions during the pre-court phone call with your attorney.  Your attorney will also follow up with you after the hearing with a separate phone call to ensure that everything came through clearly and to walk through your next steps.

7. After court follow up

After court, check your email for the signed Judge’s Order and referral paperwork from the court. This will often include your deadlines as well as the specific conditions of your diversion or probation.  Note that some courts are delayed in uploading the signed paperwork, so this could take several days.

8. Be prepared

Ultimately, different court systems are moving forward with these procedures in different ways. Make sure that, going into your telephonic appearance, that you have spoken with your attorney or legal assistant about any technological issues you may be having or questions that arise.

 

Make sure to visit our Client Guide, for more useful information on court procedures and FAQ’s.

 

You May Also Like…

Hello Weekend! January 14th-17th

Hello Weekend! January 14th-17th

This weekend is brought to you by the letter "C", complete with comedy, culture, cooking and chill'n-out. Kick things off with some laughter, sprinkle in a little meditation, a home-cooked meal, then top it off with an inspirational film, and you've got yourself one...

6 Common Reasons for a Traffic Stop

6 Common Reasons for a Traffic Stop

A DUI arrest is typically preceded by a traffic stop, whether the police officer suspects drunk driving or has stopped a driver for an unrelated reason, such as speeding. Many traffic offenses are common even when drivers are sober. However, at certain times of the...

Hello Weekend! January 7th-9th

Hello Weekend! January 7th-9th

It looks like the sun is going to make one of it's rare winter appearances this weekend. Getting active and moving is so important for your mental health, so make sure you take advantage of the sunshine any chance you get as we continue to wait out the Winter season....

0 Comments