Posted on

COVID 19 Court Hearings

               During the COVID-19 Pandemic, many court proceedings have become virtual, using apps such as Zoom or Pexip. Attending court appearances from your home, by computer or phone, is very convenient but can give a false sense of casualness. Virtual hearings are still formal proceedings and you should approach them with seriousness. You don’t want to be that defendant fighting a possession charge with a bong sitting behind you and a screen name of “SmokedUp420.”

Following these guidelines can help you get a better outcome at your next virtual hearing.

  1. Look Good
  2. Dress like you would if you were going to the courthouse.
  3. Don’t wear orange.
  4. Distraction-Free Surroundings
  5. Find a quiet place inside.
  6. Don’t join the hearing from your bathroom.
  7. Have a clean, simple background – you can check this ahead of time by using the camera on your phone or computer to see what might appear in the background.
  8. Remove anything from the background that would give a bad impression.
  9. Get someone to watch your kids, if you can – so you can be distraction free.
  10. Your Device – If using a phone, prop it up up instead of holding it – this way you won’t give anyone motion sickness.
  11. Connect to stable and secure Wi-fi, if possible. It Wi-fi is not available, find a location where you get the best cell phone service.
  12. Position camera at eye level or slightly above – it’s about the aesthetics.
  13. Look directly at camera when speaking – it creates the appearance of eye contact.
  14. Keep your device charged.
  15. Turn notifications off.
  16. Virtual Hearing Etiquette- Place yourself on mute unless directly addressed or asked to speak; Don’t walk around; Don’t do anything else on your phone; Don’t smoke; Don’t eat or drink; Make sure your name on Zoom is your real name – not a colorful or vulgar name you may use with friends.

Whether you are facing criminal charges, need help with a family matter, or have other legal needs, Petit & Dommershausen, SC is here to help. We have offices located in Appleton, Oshkosh, and Green Bay and serve all surrounding areas. Call us at 920-739-9900 today.