When you’re watching your favorite TV shows or movies, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the drama of a courtroom trial. But, if you look closely, there are often several inaccuracies that can leave you scratching your head. From unrealistic dialogue to exaggerated behavior, here are five ways courtroom dramas usually get it wrong:

Characters Speak Out of Turn

One of the biggest mistakes made in courtroom dramas is having characters speaking out of turn. In a real-life court setting, the judge is in control and no one else is allowed to speak unless they are given permission. On television shows, however, attorneys and witnesses often ignore the rules and add their two cents whenever they choose. Plaintiffs and defendants also regularly break courtroom etiquette by talking over each other or taking a more aggressive tone with the judge.

Lack of Objections

Another common mistake is that characters rarely object to statements or evidence during a trial. In real life, attorneys are expected to voice their opposition whenever something improper is said or done in order to protect the rights of their clients. On television shows, however, attorneys rarely raise objections and the judge often allows things to go unchallenged.

Lawyers Try Cases Alone

In most courtroom dramas, lawyers are typically portrayed as being able to handle a case on their own without any help from other legal professionals. This isn’t realistic in real life, however, as lawyers rely heavily on paralegals and other legal staff to help develop their cases. Many court scenes also don’t show attorneys reviewing evidence, making motions or consulting with experts before trial—all necessary activities for an effective attorney.

Objections Are Overused

Another mistake made by courtroom dramas is having attorneys repeatedly objecting to statements or evidence without any real basis. Objections in court must be based on solid legal grounds such as relevance, hearsay or lack of foundation, and simply disagreeing with the opposing side’s argument is not enough. On television shows, however, characters often make baseless objections just for dramatic effect.

Sentences Are Too Harsh

Finally, courtroom dramas tend to have overly harsh sentences for defendants. While judges can be tough, they usually take into account a person’s criminal history, mitigating factors and other relevant information before deciding on an appropriate punishment. On television shows, however, it’s not uncommon for defendants to receive maximum sentences or even jail time for minor offenses—something that rarely happens in reality.

What You See on TV Isn’t Always Right

When it comes to courtroom dramas, it’s important to remember that what you see isn’t always an accurate portrayal of the real legal system. From characters speaking out of turn to overly harsh sentences, there are often several inaccuracies that can leave viewers with a skewed impression of how trials really work. So next time you’re watching a show or movie featuring courtroom drama, keep in mind that not everything is as it appears.