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Court Attire Makes a Difference in Pittsburgh Criminal Cases

Court Attire Makes a Difference in Pittsburgh Criminal Cases


Justice should be blind.

However, juries and judges aren't, and that's why our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers are constantly having to remind clients to be mindful of what you're wearing when you show up to court.

Just as when you're going for a job interview or to meet your future in-laws, what you wear speaks a lot about who you are. If you aren't careful, it can give the exact opposite impression of what you're trying to communicate.

In a criminal case, we won't say it's enough to have a jury decide one way or the other - but the fact is, dressing your best can only help you.

In a jury trial, keep in mind that those 12 people are going to be spending a minimum of several hours with not much else to look at except - you. And they will notice if your facial hair is unshaven. They will notice if you have bold tattoos. They will see whether you're wearing a wedding ring - or what kind of jewelry you do wear.

If you come to court with a sloppy appearance, you give the impression that you don't care - and it gives judges and juries less of a reason to care what happens to you.

In some cases, it's important to dress down. For example, if you are charged with a theft-related offense, you may want to keep your jewelry to a minimum and opt for a plain, simple suit and tie or classic dress with hose and conservative heels.

There is almost no place for tight/revealing/or flashy clothing, jeans, untucked shirts, mini-skirts, loud patterns or heavy make-up. Also, you want to avoid flip-flops or other open-toed shoes.

It's almost never a bad idea to bring a sweater or suit jacket - first of all because courtrooms tend to be cold, and secondly, because blazers can help dress up your outfit if needed.

The key is not so much expensive as conservative.

Every situation is different, but in general, you can think about it in terms of, "Would I wear this to church?" If the answer is no, ask yourself why and opt for something else.