When Appearances Do Matter: Dressing For Your DUI Court Appearances

Posted on: 28 December 2018

For those charged with driving under the influence (DUI), your attire may be the last thing on your mind. Once you have your court date, however, you must be prepared, and being presentable may be more important than you think. Appearances do matter, so read on to learn how to create a favorable impression when your day in court comes around.

Consult With Your Attorney

When preparing for your day in court, the ultimate form of support should come from your attorney. Your attorney will clue you in on what will happen in court, how to behave in court, and other important advice. One thing your legal team may tell you (if you ask) is to "look nice" for your appearance. That advice is good, but that might not fully explain how you should dress. When you appear in court, you are there at the mercy of the judge and other court officials. If you want to be taken seriously as a valuable member of society, you must show your respect to the court by dressing appropriately. In most cases, that means to dress as if you were attending a house of worship or any other somber occasion.

Local Rules

You might start by finding out any specific appearance rules in place at the location of your hearing. Various courthouses have various rules, and some of the guidelines might be found by accessing the court website. In most cases, you won't be allowed to wear the following forms of attire:

  • Hats (that includes scarves, bandannas, sunglasses pushed up on your head, visors, and more). If you wear any form of headgear for religious reasons, that is usually permitted.
  • Clothing with writing or graphics that are offensive in any way.
  • Needless to say, you won't be able to pass through the metal detectors at the entrance with weapons of any sort. That includes nail files, pocket knives, and anything else that can be perceived as a weapon.

Other than that, consider sticking to the following tips:


  • Dress, pants, skirt and blouse, optional jacket
  • Avoid short skirts, short shorts, low cut tops, and see-through anything.


Dress or casual pants, dress shirt, knit polo/golf shirt (should have a collar). Don't forget a belt (no droopy pants). Avoid tee shirts and tank tops. You are not going to the beach.

Both Men and Women Should Avoid

  • Torn jeans
  • Flip flops
  • Sneakers
  • Pajamas

Speak to an attorney, like those at Jacobs & Barbone P A, about the specific rules at your local courthouse, and count on your attorney to provide you with expert help with your DUI case.