Deciding what to wear for traffic court can be tricky for most people who haven’t otherwise had any contact with the courts or the justice system. Luckily, we’ve compiled the appropriate traffic court dress code for you.
Note: Judges are required to treat everyone the same, but everyone has biases that sometimes unknowingly kick in, so our advice is to be respectful and well-dressed.
What Not to Wear to Traffic Court
In a nutshell, don’t wear flip-flops or t-shirts with graphic slogans like you’re going to a friend’s party or the beach. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t overdress by wearing a suit. Either situation won’t help your cause.
Instead of spending time and money preparing your attire, you’re better off spending time preparing for your case. Going over the top with your clothes will not significantly impact your ability to win the case.
Avoid wearing sports jerseys, hoodies, ripped jeans, sagging pants, anything revealing.
Traffic Court Arraignment
What you wear to the arraignment is not that important. Just don’t go in with a hat or cap or sunglasses. Those are court rules anyway. You have to wait forever for your case to be called, especially if your name is towards the end of the alphabet. You will only be talking to the judge for less than a minute, but you could be waiting for hours for the clerks to go through their paperwork.
Traffic Court Dress Code
For young people 18-21, it is especially important to show respect for the court and wear a tie or nice dress at trial. Judges tend to be older and expect a rebellious attitude, so they do want to feel like the person took five extra minutes before they left the house that day to give due consideration for the court.
For people old than 21, we think it’s better to come dressed in work boots, jeans, and a work t-shirt or even a collared shirt or polo, so the judge sees that you are a productive member of society.
Why your Dress Code Matters
Judges are not necessarily more likely to find someone guilty or innocent based upon what they wear, but if all you have is your testimony, you have to present yourself as credible. This could be important if you’re requesting for traffic school when you’re not eligible.
However, there’s a chance your attire can help with sentencing, though. For example, you shouldn’t come to court wearing a lot of jewelry and fancy clothes while requesting a financial hardship waiver.