There are certain items which cannot be taken into court buildings. These include:

  • Recording equipment such as cameras and video
  • Drugs
  • Weapons

You should not leave bags unattended. Mobile phones and pagers are allowed into the court room itself but should be switched off or on silent and should not be used at any time. Food and drink is not allowed into the court room and should be disposed of outside or concealed in a bag.

If you have been informed that your relative might be given a custodial sentence then it is advisable for them to take a bag into the dock containing the following:

  • Change of clothes and few sets of underwear
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Books, writing pads, pens and stamps
  • Radio/alarm clock
  • Cash – up to £100

If they are sent to prison this will go straight into their property/account and save any wait to receive these items through the post/visits.

What should I wear to court?

There is no formal dress code when attending court to support a defendant. However it is important to show respect for the court process and so it is important to dress appropriately. Certain items are discouraged or prohibited. It is not appropriate for those attending to wear shorts in court or other items of clothing that could be considered too revealing. Head wear such as hats and caps should not be worn unless for religious reasons. It is not advisable to wear clothing featuring inappropriate or offensive slogans.

Will my relative/partner be able to see me in the court room?

This will depend on the lay out of the individual court room. In more modern courts the public gallery is often positioned so that you can see the defendant. In older courts the ‘dock’ where the defendant stands may be positioned such that the view is restricted from the public gallery either by position or by opaque glass. If you have concerns about this you can contact the court to find out about the lay out or speak to the solicitor involved in your case who will be able to reassure your loved one that you are present during the hearing.

This page was updated on January 2017