Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Thu, Nov. 14

Dress for success - or at least less time in jail

I usually don't care about what others think about me, nor do I plan on committing a crime. But in the event I was facing disciplinary action at the hands of a Mohave County judge, I'd want to put on the best face possible.

Something I've noticed while covering court cases for the Miner is the apparent lack of concern a majority of inmates have for their appearance.

I'm not suggesting coming to every court hearing in a three-piece suit from Dolce & Gabbana. I've never even seen such a suit in person, nor do I even own a three-piece suit. Rather, I'm suggesting more formal attire.

I'd wear dress slacks, a button up shirt and tie to every hearing. It seems more respectful to the judge to do so.

It amazes me to see people stand before the judge in a hoodie, with their jeans sagging and full of holes. It seems more likely that the judge would see potential for reform with someone if they looked like they were actually dressed for going to a courthouse rather than doing chores around the house.

I'm not saying a dress shirt would sway the judge towards probation over prison time, but every little bit helps. A three-time convicted felon in a suit is still a three-time convicted felon.

Now you look good with your attire, you're a step closer to showing the respect. But as the saying goes, beauty is only skin deep.

I believe one's demeanor is vital to proving to the judge that you can be a productive member of society who doesn't need further prison or jail time to become so. I often see people who seem annoyed or bored by the fact that they're in the courthouse.

Granted, you're innocent until proven guilty, but answering with "sir" and "your honor" just shows that you at least respect the court.

Remember, the judge is the individual who has the most power in the processing of your case. I wouldn't want his first impression of me to be a disrespectful kid who looks like he just rolled out of bed.

But then again, that may be why I haven't had to be in that situation yet.

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