Arrested for a crime? You may be considering testifying to your innocence under oath. Contrary to popular belief, this often does more harm than good and is why the majority of experienced criminal attorneys do not recommend that their clients do so. Here’s why and what steps you can take to obtain the legal advocacy you need after being charged with a serious crime.
Being Cross Examined May Be Harmful to Your Case
You might think taking the stand to give your account is the best way to help the judge and jury see the truth. However, this is often counterintuitive and can do more harm than good. When you testify, this opens you up to the ability for the prosecution to cross examine you. Even if they don’t have much evidence against you, it’s easy to impact jury perception by making you upset or nervous under oath.
Asserting Your Innocence In Front of a Judge Isn’t Required
You don’t have to speak to your own innocence in court. The criminal process assumes that you are innocent until proven guilty, and it’s the prosecution’s job to bring enough evidence forward that proves you are the culprit beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The Idea of Which Party Has the Onus of Proof May Change
The risk of cross examination isn’t the only reason you should think twice about taking the stand in your own defense. In many cases, this can inadvertently result in the jury experiencing a shift in their idea of which party should bring forward evidence. They may begin to assume that you should offer up evidence of your own innocence, when legally, you’re only required to rebut the claims of the prosecution.
A Defense Strategy That Works Better
Ideally, your criminal defense strategy will center around deconstructing each facet of the prosecution’s case against you. This is typically a more effective strategy, since jurors will have a much more difficult time determining that you’re guilty beyond all reasonable doubt if there’s just not enough evidence on the table to show that you absolutely committed the offense you are being accused of.
How a New Haven Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights
Don’t delay after learning you’re a suspect of a crime or if you’ve been arrested on criminal charges. You need an experienced defense attorney to help protect your rights. Call now for your consultation at (203) 290-2779.