Were you charged with a crime and have an upcoming criminal hearing? You may be thinking about whether or not you’ll have to take the stand and testify to your innocence. Fortunately, most criminal defense lawyers don’t allow their clients to take the stand unless there’s no other way to achieve a desirable settlement. Here’s what you should know about testifying in your own case and who can provide you with comprehensive legal representation.
It May Be Too Risky to Subject You to Cross Examination
Giving your testimony also means that you’ll be cross examined by the prosecutors in your case. This can be quite damaging to your defense, even if their case against you is weak and there’s little evidence. If they can fluster you, they can make you look guilty even if you’re not, which can significantly impact your defense lawyer’s ability to counter the prosecution’s arguments.
It’s Not Necessary to Tell the Judge You’re Innocent
A judge and jury don’t have to hear directly from you that you’re innocent, simply for the fact that the U.S. justice system considers all criminal defendants innocent until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by evidence that the prosecution brings. The burden of proof in a criminal case lies on the prosecutors, not you.
Jurors May Think You Need to Prove Your Case
Even though the prosecution has the burden of proof, if you testify, it may subtly shift the perceptions of the jury members. They may begin to look to you for evidence that you didn’t commit the crime, which is disadvantageous to your case and is often difficult to fight.
What Defense Strategies to Use Instead
A strong defense strategy typically involves putting as many holes as possible in the prosecution’s case against you. For example, if they bring a piece of evidence against you that was obtained illegally, your defense attorney can move to have that evidence dismissed. The more you can dismantle the prosecution’s offense, the less you need to defend your own innocence.
Charged With a Crime? Call a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Were you charged with a criminal offense and have an upcoming trial? Don’t hesitate to get the legal help you need as quickly as possible to protect your rights in the coming weeks and months. Call Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin today for your consultation at (800) 458-1488.