Facing criminal charges or a major civil suit is never easy. If you know that you’ll be heading to court soon, you’re likely concerned about how the process works and what you can do to improve your chances of winning the case. One of the biggest obstacles standing in your way is the legal jargon, or legalese, that’s used in almost all court documents.
Do You Understand Everything About Your Case?
Many of the terms used in our modern legal system are derived from Latin. When judges and lawyers first started using these phrases, the majority of educated Americans still took Latin in school and were accustomed to a significantly different style of writing. As time has gone on, however, everyday speech has become more remote from these overly formal legal terms, which makes them harder for the average adult to understand.
One of the chief problems with legalese is that it makes it difficult for individuals to understand the charges against them. You might know that the D.A. has made a motion in your case, but unless you understand the terminology, you probably don’t know what that means for your future. Perhaps you’re trying to prepare your testimony but aren’t sure what all of the court documents mean.
It’s important to remember that the inaccessibility of legal language can be used to a lawyer’s advantage. Some prosecutors or civil litigation attorneys may attempt to scare you by using language you aren’t familiar with. Others may hope that you aren’t prepared to defend yourself or can’t respond to the charges because you don’t fully understand them.
Why Working with a Qualified Attorney Simply Makes Sense
While some law professors advocate replacing legalese with simpler phrases, not all attorneys are willing to make legal paperwork easier to understand. This means that you need to be proactive if you’re heading to court. Try familiarizing yourself with some basic legal terms. As you read court documents, make note of what you don’t understand.
Of course, the best way to navigate the maze of legalese is to hire a qualified attorney who will explain charges and court documents to you in detail. If you’re facing charges in the Indianapolis, IN area, you should look for an attorney with experience serving that community. Be sure to ask your lawyer to clarify any legal terms that you don’t understand. You pay your attorney not only to defend you but to ensure that you know what’s going on during every phase of the court process.
Facing a trial and navigating legalese on your own can be incredibly stressful. If you need the help of a professional attorney, contact the experienced, friendly team at Garrison Law Firm.