How Should I Prepare for My Preliminary Hearing?
If you have an upcoming hearing at Markham Courthouse or Bridgeview Courthouse, you may be wondering what you can expect to happen at the hearing and how you can best prepare for it. Attorney John Fairman provides the following tips, based on a decade of experience handling cases in Cook County courtrooms.
Hire a good lawyer: The most important thing you can do before your hearing is to hire a criminal defense attorney you trust to walk you through the process and defend your rights at every turn. John Fairman has spent decades dedicating himself to defending the criminally accused and ensuring that their constitutional rights are honored throughout the process. He will keep you fully informed about your case, utilize all available evidence and legal arguments that could reduce the severity of your charges, and zealously defend you in a criminal trial.
Make sure you know where you’re going: Plan ahead for how you’ll get to court on the day of your hearing, and leave plenty of time to get there early. You can review our reference pages on basic courthouse info if your hearing is at the Bridgeview Courthouse or the Markham Courthouse in Cook County.
Make any and all necessary arrangements to be there: Missing court can have serious consequences for your case, can result in bench warrants being issued or the forfeiture of any bond money posted, and reflects very poorly on you in the judge’s eyes. Make sure you can attend your scheduled court date by planning far in advance for coverage at work or special arrangements with teachers if you’re missing school.
Dress appropriately: Judges will closely monitor how seriously criminal defendants appear to be taking the charges against them, and the degree to which they respect the court and the judicial process. What you wear to court will be seen as a reflection of your respect for the process. If you have a suit, you can wear it. You should wear the nicest professional clothing you have, such as a collared shirt and trousers or a modest skirt. Do not wear jeans, sleeveless shirts, or t-shirts with logos.
Behave respectfully, and ask that any family or friends do likewise: It can be extremely difficult to remain silent while listening to outright lies or misleading statements about you being offered as evidence in court. However, it is extremely important that you stay calm and quiet in court. First of all, anything shared in a preliminary hearing does not have the same significance as evidence offered during a trial. Second, it is your attorney’s job to speak on your behalf in court, and you can trust that he will rely on his years of experience defending his clients against baseless claims in determining when to object or speak up on your behalf.
Don’t let a criminal charge derail your future success. Contact Homewood and Chicago-area criminal defense attorney John Fairman for a consultation on your case, at 708-799-4848 (Homewood), and 708-960-4806 (Oak Lawn).