As a part of our representation it is imperative that we present our clients in the best possible light to Prosecutors, Judges and Juries. We routinely counsel our clients on what to wear to court and to trial. If we don't feel our clients have trial worthy clothes, we dress them ourselves. We keep a number suits, ties and shoes that we feel make our clients presentable to a jury. Anyone accused of a crime is going to be judged by their appearance and as the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
A couple of months ago I represented a young man charged with Aggravated Robbery. He was accused with three other men with of a home invasion, where it was alleged they held a family at gunpoint as they ransacked their house looking for cash. One of the co-defendant's was tried separately because his criminal history would have prejudiced the other defendants. In my preparation as a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, I attended and observed the co-defendant's trial. We will call him Bob.
Bob was arrested around the crime scene in victim's next door neighbor's yard within seconds of the alleged aggravated robbery. The police had been called while the perpetrators were in the house and as the police arrived, they fled. When Bob was detained he was wearing a blue floral Hawaiian-like shirt. The victims were able to identify him by his skin, height and his distinctive shirt.
So surprise to me, the prosecution, police witnesses and the victims, Bob wore the same shirt to trial that he was arrested in, fleeing from the scene, seconds after the home invasion, Apparently this was not a surprise to his attorney because at closing arguments he argued that he purposely had his client wear this shirt to show the corruption of the police. I don't know what this meant other than it explained his trial strategy and let the State off the hook for an ineffective assistance appellate argument regarding this issue.
Anyway, terrible terrible strategy. No one was surprised when the jury came back five minutes later with a guilty and later took another five minutes to give Bob life in prison. You never get a second chance to make first impression.