If you have been arrested and charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated), the last thing on you mind might be the way you look. When it comes to court appearances, however, your looks do matter. If you want to make the best possible impression, you will take some time to think ahead and display respectful attire. Read on for some quick and easy tips on dressing right for your DWI appearance.
Listen to Your Attorney
While you cannot expect your legal team to hand out fashion advice, you should at least touch base with them about dressing appropriately on the day of your court appearance. In most cases, you will simply be told to "look good" and the specifics will be left up to you. Your DWI attorney, however, could end up being a font of information about the likes and dislikes of the particular judge assigned to your case, so at least ask.
Are There Rules?
Many courtrooms post the "rules" at the door, making it difficult to manage if you've accidentally shown up in the wrong attire. In most cases, these rules are about headgear, sunglasses, tee shirts with objectionable texts or graphics, and other fairly obvious bad choices. Naturally, you cannot enter government facilities with weapons of any type.
A good rule of thumb is that you should dress as if you were attending a religious service, but since jeans are commonplace almost everywhere, you may need more information than that. Generally speaking, stick to:
- Dress pants and a dress shirt, with tie and jacket optional. Avoid a tie with a short-sleeved shirt, but it's fine to wear a dress shirt with no tie and a jacket.
- Khaki or other nicer pants (that are well pressed) and either a dress shirt or a nice polo or golf shirt that has a collar. Tuck those shirts in, and don't forget the belt.
- Dress or skirt and blouse with an optional jacket.
- Nice pants and a blouse, sweater with an optional jacket.
Avoid (both men and women)
- Jeans, unless they are well pressed, clean, without holes and unless you have no choice.
- Sleeveless shirts for men
- Tee shirts
- Flip flops
- Low-cut tops or too-short skirts on women
- See-through clothing
Use Common Sense
The entire idea is not to pretend to be something you are not, but to show respect to the judge and the court of law by appearing in clean, pressed, and appropriate clothing. Your defense attorney has your back when it comes to your DWI charges, so do yourself and your case a big favor and take some extra time with your appearance on this important day.