General Question

girlofscience's avatar

What is the appropriate attire for traffic court?

Asked by girlofscience (7553points) October 31st, 2011
17 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I always thought the expectation was that everyone was to wear a suit in court.

Every time I have gone to traffic court, I have worn a formal girl suit business outfit (button-down suit coat, matching pencil skirt, stockings, and heels). And every time, I’ve been mistaken for an attorney. Because every single other defendant is dressed like a complete and total slob.

Who’s wrong? Them? Me? Or both? What is a respectable defendant supposed to wear when contesting a speeding ticket?

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marinelife's avatar

Work attire.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think business casual is appropriate.

What not to wear: The last time I was in court they had a bunch of kids that had been busted at a party. They were all wearing legalize pot T shirts except one young lady there with her parents. She was the only one that got off with just community service and a suspended sentence, she would have just gotten fined if her parents had not spoken up.

The rest of the bunch got both community service and a fine. Those charged as adults got to spend 30 days in jail as well.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like you, I’ve always worn a business suit which I think is actually appreciated. My grandfather used to say it’s better to be overdressed than under. I’m convinced I get better treatment when I’m polished than when I’m casual.

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Blackberry's avatar

Just dress like a working adult and not a teen that is running an errand at wal mart lol. I’ve only been to court twice, but what I saw was a disaster in there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah. Don’t dress like an unemployed loser. I was shocked the first time I went to traffic court too. I paid careful attention to my dress and grooming (having never been in court of any kind before) and I was shocked at the jeans and shorts a flip flops…
I’ve been there for Dog-At-Large tickets since then, but I always take the time to put something on that I would wear to work.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’ve never been to traffic court, but any time I’ve ever gone to court I dress.. nicely. I don’t wear a suit, but usually a pair of dress slacks and a button down shirt, cardigan, or a nice skirt and sweater, and I put my hair in a bun. The place is usually full of people in jeans or shorts, t-shirts, hoodies, casual coats. I find it kind of unusual.
However, I will say that I am always in court for reasons that don’t legally relate directly to me, yet I am frequently addressed and acknowledged, which I have always felt has to do with the way that I present myself. Without giving details this whole paragraph probably sounds a little silly, but I honestly feel like dressing well has made a huge difference in court.

majorrich's avatar

From what I recall last time I went to traffic court, although I went with business casual, the prevailing choice seemed to be jeans and tee (or A) shirt. Really tight pattered stirrup pants and overly revealing tops.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@majorrich Yes. Because most of those types are there every week, and not on traffic charges. When I went to traffic-dog-at-large court, some of the “defendants” were pleading about DUI’s and….stuff. Stuff WAY out of my league!

john65pennington's avatar

Our courts here are very strict. Casual attire is okay, but no shorts, see-through blouses, flipflops.

Just pretend you are going on a date in the winter, to dinner and a movie.

Dressing respectful is the key. No shirt and tie required, unless you are testifying in Criminal Court.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Any time I have gone to court, I have made sure I dress nice. I won’t wear an actual business suit though. Usually I go with business casual.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seaofclouds Yes. And we stick out like a sore thumb, don’t we!

WestRiverrat's avatar

How many of them are coming straight from a holding cell and have not had a chance to go home and change? I live in a rural area, so bail hearings, petty theft and traffic court are all held at the same time in front of the same judge.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@WestRiverrat Well, in my experience at Traffic Court combined with my experience working at a jail….none. Either they in, or they out. But, I live in a small mid-western town. Not sure how that compares to where you live.

Nullo's avatar

Court doesn’t seem like the kind of place where you can overdress.
Stick with the suit. It helps people take you more seriously.

rojo's avatar

It really does not matter, there will be all kinds/styles present. Wear whatever you are comfortable in. The main thing is to intimidate the person who it assigned to intimidate you into accepting the plea before going to trial. If you cannot beat them, you will lose in the court.

majorrich's avatar

In traffic court they pretty much have you dead to rights. perhaps by ‘dressing down’ the Judge may give you a smaller fine assuming you can’t afford more? LOL

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