Home > The Justice Process > Preparing for Court

Preparing for Court

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 17 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
Witness Young People Youth Court Judge

You may have to attend court for a wide-range of reasons. You could be called as witness or perhaps you have been summoned for jury duty. No matter the reason for attending court, there are a number of ways in which you can prepare for your court appearance. If you plan carefully, the whole process will be less stressful.

There some general pieces of advice that everyone that attends court should follow:

  • Ensure you know the correct time, date and courtroom you should appear in.
  • Dress smartly when you appear in court.
  • Don’t take any recording equipment into the court, as this isn’t allowed.
  • Don’t bring young children into the court.
  • Don’t bring food and drink into the court.
  • Only address the judge unless instructed otherwise.
  • Don’t chew gum or fidget.
  • Pay attention and answer any questions in a clear voice.

Being a Witness

If you are being called as a witness there are a number of things you can do to prepare for your court appearance. If you need to give detailed evidence, ensure you understand the information you must give to the court. Get any supporting evidence ready that you need to the court. If you fail to do this, the court hearing could be delayed.

Being a witness in court can be a traumatic experience especially if the case you are involved in is a violent crime. Victim Support can help you through the court experience and provide help after your court appearance is over. You can contact their national centre by telephoning: 020 7735 9166.

You could also be called as a witness in a court martial if the case involves a member of the armed forces. As with any other kind of court case, before you are due to appear in the court, make sure you understand the testimony you will be giving. The Witness Support service from Victim Support can help you prepare for your court case.

Being a Defendant

If you have been arrested as a suspect in a crime, you will usually be sent to a magistrates’ court. The Crown Prosecution Service will decide if you should stand trial. You will normally be told this within 6 months of your arrest. If you are charged you will receive a written summons before your court appearance is due to take place. The summons will tell you which court your case will appear in, and the date and time you should arrive at the court.

Being a Juror

Generally, any member of the public can be summoned for jury service. If you do receive a summons letter ensure you return the relevant forms as soon as you can. Once you know which court, date and time of your jury service make sure you arrive at the court in plenty of time. Also make sure you have appropriate forms of identification. It’s also a good idea to bring something with you to pass the time, as you could be waiting all day for your jury duty to begin.

Young People

The youth court is for young offenders up to the age of 17. If you do need to attend a youth court, it’s a good idea to arrive at least 30 minutes before your case is due to be heard. Also, if you want to make a statement in court about your case you should practice what you want to say. Alternatively, if you don’t want to speak you can write your comments down and hand the piece of paper to the court clerk who will pass this to the judge.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
My stepson has been under police investigation for nearly 7 months , why is it taking so long
Naggy - 17-May-19 @ 7:38 AM
Baby - Your Question:
I have been on bail for nearly two years with very strict bail conditions which had had a terrible effect on my lie and health. How long can I be kept on bail.

Our Response:
There is currently no limit on how long suspects can be kept on bail. There are calls for this to be limited, but as yet nothing has been decided by the government.
CourtroomAdvice - 10-Oct-16 @ 10:44 AM
I have been on bail for nearly two years with very strict bail conditions which had had a terrible effect on my lie and health. How long can I be kept on bail.
Baby - 9-Oct-16 @ 8:35 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Monk
    Re: Court Costs and Legal Aid
    If I'm on benefits can I get legal aid for slander a care home lied about me when visited my friend which has lasting affects meaning…
    12 July 2020
  • anne
    Re: A Guide to Court Orders
    I purchased 6 diamonds as an investment in 2013/14 from a company City Diamond Exchange Ltd.with the funds I received under a voluntary…
    11 July 2020
  • Kitty
    Re: Family Court and the Adoption Process
    Hi my 2 children have been adopted in write to them twice a year I want to know if I can go court to get them back..…
    10 July 2020
  • Social Issues
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    Hello Star I'm not a legal representative. But, I am a criminal justice campaigner. Anybody can write to the National Probation Service,…
    10 July 2020
  • Lizm8618
    Re: Breach of Court Order: What Steps to Take Next?
    Me and my ex ended up in court in Jan 2019 for a child contact order due to him repeatedly letting my…
    10 July 2020
  • Marla76
    Re: What Will Happen if I Don't Turn Up at Court?
    My girlfriend was assaulted in the street by an ex employee of mine. As my girlfriend was going to the shop…
    10 July 2020
  • Sian
    Re: Caught Drink Driving
    Got pulled this morning and had to do a breath test. Blew at 50 have a court hearing next month. This is my first time. What will I be…
    7 July 2020
  • Emzemz
    Re: Common Law in England
    We want our government looked into for unlawfull lockdown and crimes against humanity where do we even start
    6 July 2020
  • Bruno
    Re: Failure to Attend Jury Service
    I have been selected for jury service, although I am going to go back to work in the end of the month, and it will clash with my…
    6 July 2020
  • Molly1100
    Re: A Guide to Small Claims Court
    can someone advise how I could bring my ex flatmate to court for leaving during tenancy agreement and not paying rent if she did…
    6 July 2020