Although it may seem like a good idea to dress down and give the impression of being in difficult circumstances when going to a court hearing, this is never ideal. Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, in a criminal case or a personal injury case, you should always dress appropriately.
A good general rule for dressing for court is to wear a suit if you have one available. If you are the defendant, you should avoid black if possible, but it is better to dress in a good pair of black slacks than to wear jeans. You should never wear denim or a tee-shirt or gym clothes into court. Avoid large, ostentatious jewelry or accessories that may distract the jury or judge from your words. One rule of thumb is to look as unexceptional as possible, rather than to draw attention to yourself with bright colors or trendy hairstyles. Women should always wear a brassiere and should wear stockings with skirts and no open-toed shoes, and men should never wear a hat.
Although the details of your case are the most important factor in any court hearing, the jury is still comprised of a group of your peers who have personal opinions, past experiences, and prejudices. By avoiding wearing anything that might trigger a prejudice, you can keep from influencing the jury against you, and help them hear the facts they need to hear to make the right decision.
If you have more questions about how you should dress for court, please contact experienced court lawyer Robert W. Kerpsack, Co., L.P.A., in Columbus, Ohio.