August 19, 2014

By Vannoy Law Firm

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I am often asked by friends and family members questions regarding the etiquette of South Carolina courtrooms.  Here are some basic recommendations based on my observations over the years.

1.  Dress:  Many lawyers feel like their clients need to be dressed a certain way based on the type of case.  Generally, male litigants can do no wrong in my book by wearing khakis, loafers, white dress shirt, and dark jacket.  For women litigants, a dress below the knees or a suit works for most.  For jurors and observers I would recommend attire a little more casual.  Stay away from tank-tops, flip-flops, and shorts.

2.  Addressing the Court:  The judge should be addressed as "Your Honor", "Judge _______(last name)", "Yes Sir", "Yes Ma'am".  You should shy away from addressing the opposing side directly.  All questions should be addressed to the Court.

3.  No cell phones.  If they go off, they could be seized by the court.  No guns, knives, or mace.

4.  Be on time.  Actually, I would advise being fifteen minutes early.

5.  Traffic tickets.  The court date given on a traffic ticket is a "bench trial date".  You will arrive to court and the officer will be called by the judge.  The judge will then have the officer read off tickets and once your name is called, you come down to either plead guilty or not guilty or request a jury trial.  If you plead guilty, the judge will sentence you.  If you plead not guilty, the judge will hold a very brief trial on the spot.  If you ask for a jury trial, the court is required to postpone your case until a jury can be brought in.  Jury trials are held on different dates than bench trials in most courts.

If you have been charged with a probation violation, traffic ticket, criminal offense, or a DUI, feel free to contact me to discuss your options.  At my office, you will receive a free interview in criminal cases.  If retained, I will go about protecting your initial court appearance, if possible, and begin investigating the case.  If you have questions about a criminal or DUI case or questions about this article, feel free to contact me at (843) 761-0610.  If you would like to read more about South Carolina's DUI and criminal laws, copy/paste this link into your search heading

If you have questions regarding a DUI or criminal case in Berkeley, Charleston, or Dorchester County, please contact my office today at (843) 761-0610 or through the contact page on this website.

Photo-3Brady Vannoy is a criminal defense lawyer in Berkeley County, South Carolina.  He carries a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating.  According to the rating system, "AV Preeminent(r) is a significant rating accomplishment-a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."

Brady Vannoy is a member of The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers in South Carolina.  You can find his profile at

Brady Vannoy's office is located in downtown Moncks Corner.  He regularly takes cases in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties.  Brady is a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100.  Brady defends DUI and all types of criminal cases in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties along with other areas of the South Carolina low country.  He can be reached at (843) 761-0610 or through the contact page on this website.

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