Whether you have received an unfair ticket or are completely in the wrong, showing up to court can be nerve-wracking, especially if it is your first time going. Nearly everyone must appear in traffic court at some point or another if they drive regularly, whether it’s a parking ticket or they caused an accident. While appearing before a judge seems daunting, traffic court is nothing to be afraid of.

Still anxious? Here are some tips on staying cool and collected despite your nerves.

Reinherz Law - Traffic Court

Arrive Early

It’s a lot easier to gain your bearings when you have enough time to do so. Arriving late leads to feeling panicked and will give a complete lack of focus. Planning ahead and getting there on time will help you feel less in the wrong and may even set a better impression of you for the judge.

Plan What You Want to Accomplish

Before arriving, come up with a game plan. Are you looking for more time to prepare for your charges? Do you feel the charges are unfair and would like them dropped? Or are you in the wrong and hoping you can simply have them lessened? It also is good to know if you can pay immediately or if you will need to ask about a payment plan. Having a list of goals will also give you something to focus on rather than being nervous.

Expect it to Go Well

When it comes to traffic court, the worst case seldom happens. Since traffic violations occur so frequently, the judge wants to get through things quickly and make their own day much easier. Because of this, they are more likely to lessen a sentence and ensure you don’t come back. Also, simply showing up is a great sign to the judge, as more people than you might expect fail to appear.


Remember to breathe and slow yourself down. Reminding yourself to breathe and focusing on your breath will take the focus off your anxiety and make you appear calmer, even if you aren’t.

Legal Representation

If you are very nervous about your charges, get legal counsel. Our team of Philadelphia traffic court lawyers at Reinherz Law work with our clients both in getting charges lessened and dropped, but also preparing them for their court appearance. Consulting an expert will help you feel prepared, and having someone on your side can help alleviate a lot of court room anxiety.