What Should I Wear to Court?

It’s crucial to give yourself every advantage possible when going to court, and one of those is making a good first impression. Everyone present in the courtroom will be taking note of how you choose to represent yourself and dressing appropriately shows that you respect the judge and judicial process. To help you put your best foot forward and give a great first impression, we’ve compiled our best tips for what to wear to court below.

Courtroom Attire Guidelines

The state of Massachusetts has its own set of courtroom attire guidelines that are gender-specific and include considering court a formal event. The guidelines recommend you don’t wear:

  • Shorts, hats, or flip flops
  • A halter, tube-top, or see-through top
  • Clothing that exposes your midriff or underwear
  • Ripped or torn jeans
  • Baggy pants that fall below your waist
  • Clothing that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity
  • Clothing that promotes violence, sex acts, illegal drug use, or profanity

We suggest dressing formally, ensuring your clothing fits well, and you look neat and put together. Although dressing conservative might not be your personal style, it is expected in a courtroom setting.

Choosing Your Outfit

While it is not necessary to purchase a new outfit specifically for your court date, it is important to ensure your outfit is clean, pressed, and not too loose or too tight. The courtroom is a formal setting and you should dress as you would if you were going to a meeting at a conservative office job.

Men – Consider wearing a long-sleeve button-down shirt and tie with dress pants and dress shoes. If the weather is colder, add a solid color sweater or suit jacket.

Woman – Consider dress pants or a skirt paired with a blouse or sweater, or a conservative dress. Keep your accessories simple and avoid bold lipstick or over-styled hair.

If you have visible tattoos or piercings, considering taking them out or covering them up for your court date.

Preparing for Court

Beyond selecting an appropriate outfit, plan to get a hair cut at least a week before your scheduled court appearance, be freshly showered and neatly groomed. Facial hair should be trimmed or shaved, and makeup should be conservative. Don’t forget to brush and dry your hair, brush your teeth, and apply deodorant before your arrival.

By carrying out these tasks, you can set yourself up for success during your court hearing. Always have a great legal defense if possible, to ensure your rights are protected and a comprehensive defense is built.

For your free consultation, contact our team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.

What is an Administrative Hearing?

An administrative hearing is a trial-like proceeding prior to any formal criminal charges are filed. As far as the law is concerned, these hearings allow any potential charges to disappear as if the alleged incident never happened.

How Urbelis Law Can Help

At Urbelis Law, our Managing Attorney Benjamin Urbelis guides his clients through the administrative hearing process. Regularly representing clients at clerk magistrate hearings, probation violation/surrender hearings, and Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV/DMV) hearings, Benjamin has proven success at preventing formal criminal charges from being filed.

Whether you’re in the process of an administrative hearing or simply going through the police interview process, having our team of criminal defense lawyers on your side will increase the chances of your success.

Types of Administrative Hearings We Represent

Clerk Magistrate Hearings – Requested if you are accused of a misdemeanor criminal offense (excluding OUIs, domestic assault & battery, and shoplifting) that did not take place in the presence of a police officer.

Police Interviews/Question – When the police contact you and ask you to go into the station for questioning. Remember, when you voluntarily go into the station, they are not required to give you Miranda warnings and it’s best to have a criminal defense lawyer with you to help you determine how to proceed.

Probation Violation/Surrender Hearings – The outcome when a probation officer has reasons to believe you violated the terms of your probation. Some of these violations include missed payment to probation or the court, failure to attend a court-ordered class or community service, or failure to notify probation of an address or employment change.

Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV/DMV) Hearings – We zealously advocate for our clients throughout the RMV appeals process, whether you are facing a suspension for an OUI charge, multiple moving violations, or even a non-motor vehicle drug charge.

Restraining Orders/Abuse Prevention Orders/209A Violations – If you are served with a 209A restraining order, the first thing you should do is contact your criminal defense attorney at Urbelis Law. Your attorney will be able to investigate, prepare, and clear his schedule for your court date.

Sealing Criminal Records – If you have bee convicted of a misdemeanor conviction and your conviction date was more than five years ago or if your last felony charge is at least 10 years old, Benjamin Urbelis of Urbelis Law can help you through the process of sealing your criminal record.

Warrant Removals – If you have an outstanding warrant or believe that there is a warrant for your request, you run the risk of being arrested anytime, anywhere. By having our Managing Attorney Benjamin Urbelis evaluate the facts and circumstances, he will be able to provide you with the proper representation.

Free Consultation with Urbelis Law

Attorney Benjamin UrbelisOur criminal defense team at Urbelis Law has extensive success with administrative hearings and has worked aggressively to ensure formal criminal charges are not filed against our clients. If you have not yet been charged with a crime but are facing any of the issues or hearings we outlined above, contact our team today at (617) 830-2188 for your free consultation!

What Happens if I Violate My Probation?

With over 80,000 individuals on probation in Massachusetts alone, the main goal of the probation system is to keep individuals safe and provide those that are on probation with the tools they need to rehabilitate their lives.

Roughly 30% of individuals that are on probation are reincarcerated within three years of being released into the community.*

What Activities Violate Probation?

There are several circumstances that violate the terms of probation. They include:

  1. Failing to report to your probation officer as required by the terms of your probation.
  2. Failing to pay required court fees, fines, and/or restitution.
  3. Failing a drug or alcohol test if the terms of your probation include refraining from drugs or alcohol.
  4. Staying away from individuals from incidents that you may have been involved in.
  5. Being arrested or convicted of another crime while being on probation.

What Do I Do if I Receive a Surrender Notice?

If you have received a notice to appear after violating your probation, immediately contact our team at Urbelis Law to find out next and what your options are.

Depending on the circumstance, the probation officer may request you to be placed in jail until the surrender healing, without bond. You will then go before a judge and the probation officer will present the allegations against you before the judge makes a final determination.

If there is probable cause to show that you violated your probation, a final surrender hearing will be scheduled where witnesses will be called, and evidence will be brought forward. All witnesses will have the opportunity to be cross-examined.

Your defense attorney might also recommend stipulating the violation if it is in your best interested to do so. This can be a way to avoid returning to prison.

What Happens if the Judge Determines I Violated the Terms of My Violation?

If the judge determines you have violated the terms of your probation, the judge might allow you to continue your probation under stricter rules and violations. The worst-case scenario would be having to return to prison to serve out your sentence.

To ensure you have the best chance in your surrender healing, contact our team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.

*https://www.mass.gov/doc/three-year-recidivism-rates-2014-release-cohort/download

 

What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

In most states, there are two classifications of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Occasionally, states will also include petty offenses as an additional classification. These classifications can also include different levels or cases, but today we will be discussing the differences between a misdemeanor and a felony.

What is a Misdemeanor?

In Massachusetts, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense that does not carry any potential for time in state prison. Depending on the crime, the penalties for a misdemeanor can range from a $50 fine to two and a half years in the House of Corrections.

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor defense, the crime cannot be sealed from your record until five years after conviction. Having a misdemeanor sealed from your record does not mean it won’t still show up on certain types of background checks.

If you are facing a misdemeanor criminal charge, contact our team of criminal defense attorneys at Urbelis Law today at (617) 830-2188.

Some misdemeanors include:

  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Failure to Report Hazing
  • Keeping a Disorderly House
  • Minor Transporting/In Possession of Alcohol
  • Providing Alcohol to a Minor
  • Trespassing
  • Open and Gross Lewd and Lascivious Behavior
  • Resisting Arrest

What is a Felony?

In Massachusetts, a felony is a very serious criminal offense that is publishable by time in state prison. There are several classes/degrees of felonies with punishments ranging from less than five years but more than one year in prison through life imprisonment and the death penalty.

Crimes that are considered a felony include murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping, and arson.

Criminal Defense with Benjamin Urbelis

Attorney Benjamin UrbelisFor over ten years, Managing Attorney Benjamin Urbelis of Urbelis Law has been representing clients throughout Massachusetts in state and federal courts. Benjamin has represented several high-profile clients, has earned multiple trial advocacy honors including National Trial Lawyers’ “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”, and has obtained Not Guilty verdicts in more than 80% of his cases that have been taken to trial.

To get your free consultation, contact us today at (617) 830-2188.