When you stand accused of a crime and are going through the trial process, one of the important factors for you to decide upon will be whether or not you should testify in your own defense. Although you have the right to do so and may be eager to tell the judge, jury and court your version of the events related to the alleged crime, testifying in your own defense can be a double-edged sword and, in some cases, can even work against you.
The following are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to testify in your own defense:
- The prosecutor’s experience: Prosecutors – like defense lawyers – are seasoned legal professionals who are experienced at interrogating witnesses. If you choose to testify, the prosecutor in your case will do his or her best to arouse your anger, get you to equivocate (mistake) the events or contradict yourself, make you sound defensive or otherwise make you appear to have something hide in front of the jury. Prosecutors can do this by asking you unexpected questions, using rude or inflammatory language and being abrasive when questioning you. If you do not respond well under pressure, have an issue controlling your anger or do not think you can stand up to intense questioning, it may not be a good idea for you to allow prosecutors to question you in front of the jury.
- Your own experience: In contrast to prosecutors’ vast experience questioning witnesses in court, you as the accused individual have relatively little experience answering questions in court. While your lawyer can help prepare you on how to act and what to say under questioning, if you are not prepared for a certain question or you are having an off day, you may inadvertently do or say something that the jury finds questionable, distasteful or off-putting. In fact, even your body language during questioning can be enough to turn some jurors against you – despite what you may be saying or despite other evidence in the case.
Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers
The authorities take allegations of felony crimes, particularly when they have allegedly been committed by individuals who have a criminal record or when they involve victims, extremely seriously, and these charges – even if a person is ultimately acquitted of them – can have a devastating impact on a person’s personal and professional life. If you or a loved one has been accused of any felony or misdemeanor crime in Denver, you will need an experienced defense attorney who is dedicated to defending your rights.
At the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara, our skilled Denver criminal defense lawyers are committed to providing the accused with the best possible defense and to working tirelessly to helping them resolve their case as favorably as possible. As soon as you start working with our trusted criminal defense lawyers, we will begin investigating your case, interviewing witnesses and compiling evidence to support your defense. We will also work diligently to get the prosecution’s evidence against you thrown out of court and, whenever possible, to get the charges against you reduce or potentially even dismissed entirely. To learn more about your legal rights and receive expert advice on how to proceed with your case, contact us at (720) 379-8262.