Court Appearance | Franklin | Nashville TN

You must appear in court, on time, for all scheduled court dates and hearings unless your lawyer has told you not to attend. If you change your address or phone number while waiting for your case to be resolved, you must notify your bondsman and your lawyer. If you have been released without a bondsman, notify the Criminal Court Clerk’s office.

Always arrive early for your court appearance, as your lawyer may need to discuss your case with you. If an emergency prevents you from being in court, or if you must be late, notify your bondsman and your lawyer immediately. If no one knows where you are when your name is called, the judge may revoke your bond and issue a warrant for your arrest. This means the police will arrest you again and you are no longer on bond. Equally as important as showing up on time is your appearance. The judges enforce a dress code, and a neat, clean appearance will only help you. On the other hand, a sloppy or too casual appearance will reflect poorly on you. 

For men: no shorts, no saggy pants (must be belted around the waist and tucked in), no t-shirts with offensive slogans, no tank tops or undershirts and no hats. Women should not wear clothing that is revealing in any way. Do not wear shorts, halter tops, see-through tops or expose the midriff. Be advised that some judges will make you leave the courtroom to change if the judge finds your attire offensive.

General Guidelines for Your Day in Court:

First and foremost, turn your cell phone off. If it rings the court officer may take it from you.

The courtroom setting is formal and judges are typically conservative.

Choose clothing that you are comfortable wearing.  I tell my clients to expect to spend the whole day in court.

Don't bring children to court. 

Don't wear bright colors or flashy jewelry to court.  The last thing you want to do is to draw attention to yourself especially if identity is an issue.

Avoid tight or revealing outfits, shorts, tank tops and short dresses or skirts.

Do not wear dirty or soiled clothing. Avoid pants with holes and shirts with holes.

Never wear a hat!

For women, wear a suit, dress, or blouse and skirt.  A nice pants suit or slacks are also appropriate. Do not wear spike heels, sandals or open-toed shoes. Wear a bra and pantyhose even if it kills you.

For men, wear a suit, jacket and tie if you have one.  If not, a nice button up shirt tucked into your pants is also appropriate. 

When addresses by the judge or other court personell, respond in a courteous manner by saying "yes ma'am", "no ma'am", "yes sir" or "no sir". If you have a question, ask your attorney, not the judge.

Don't ever argue with the judge, even if you strongly disagree. They could find you in contempt of court and sentence you to 10 days in jail on the spot. It's all down hill from there.

Leave pocket knives, guns and any other weapons at home. They are not permitted in the courthouse ever!

If you don't think you have appropriate clothing, many of these items can be found at your local Goodwill or Thrift Store. 

Don't bring food or drink into the courtroom.

Never leave the courtroom without telling your attorney where you are going.

Be on time!

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