When To Testify In Your Own Criminal Case
There are many things to weigh when deciding to testify in your own criminal case. Here are some major signs that you should testify in your criminal case.
If You Have a "Likable" Personality
While being charismatic isn't a reason that a juror should believe your story, we're all human and we can be more persuaded by people we like. If you have a charismatic personality and you go on testimony in your own case, you may be able to give the jurors more chance to see your perspective and understand your personality. It helps if you have a calm, responsible and friendly demeanor; this can help paint a picture of your innocence. If, on the other hand, you have a temper and/or get extremely nervous when speaking in front of others, it may be best to stay off of the witness stand. While it may not be true, jurors may take a lot of fidgeting, stammering, or displays of anger as subtle cues of your guilt.
If you are unsure how you would react under this type of pressure, your criminal defense attorney may be able to help you prepare for a jury by giving you a mock trial. They would sit you down and ask you the type of questions that the prosecutor might ask you on the witness stand. If possible, have others stand by and watch the process to simulate being in front of a court room. This way, you can get an idea of how you might present yourself in court.
If There are Few Witnesses
Another reason to go on the witness stand is if you have few other witnesses who can corroborate your story. If there's little evidence to support your side of the story and the prosecutor has a line up of witnesses to speak on their behalf, the story can quickly become lopsided as the jury listens to several different witnesses who aren't in your favor. You may choose to tell your story in your own words to even out the talking in your favor.
Sitting down with your criminal defense attorney to flesh out the story is important if you hope to give a thorough and convincing account. You may have details that stick out in your mind, but getting the advice of an outside source can help draw out details of the story that you might not have thought of. Working with your criminal lawyer, one like http://www.gdamianilaw.com, you can begin to develop a testimony plan that will put you in a favorable light.