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.
- Look Good
- Dress like you would if you were going to the courthouse.
- Don’t wear orange.
- Distraction-Free Surroundings
- Find a quiet place inside.
- Don’t join the hearing from your bathroom.
- 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.
- Remove anything from the background that would give a bad impression.
- Get someone to watch your kids, if you can – so you can be distraction free.
- Your Device – If using a phone, prop it up up instead of holding it – this way you won’t give anyone motion sickness.
- 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.
- Position camera at eye level or slightly above – it’s about the aesthetics.
- Look directly at camera when speaking – it creates the appearance of eye contact.
- Keep your device charged.
- Turn notifications off.
- 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.