Before we start, we want to remind everyone that every case is unique. The recommendations of your attorney should be highly considered regardless of what you have heard or read online. If you have been detained and charged with a crime, you have many important choices to make as you progress through the criminal justice system. Among one of the most important of those decisions is whether to take your situation to trial. Suppose you decide to introduce a defense and allow a judge or jury to determine your destiny. In that case, you (along with your lawyer) will certainly have an additional significant choice to make– whether to take the stand and also testify at your trial.
You definitely should not make this choice without first consulting with your lawyer relating to the one-of-a-kind truths and situations of your instance. Utah criminal defense lawyers talk about the considerations involved in making such a vital choice.
Criminal Defense Trial Basics
It assists in comprehending a couple of basics concerning the criminal justice system in the United States. In any criminal prosecution, the State has the concern of verifying that the defendant is guilty of the costs against him/her past a practical question. This is the highest burden of proof in the American justice system. There is no universally accepted meaning of the term “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it is commonly explained as 99 percent certain that the offender is guilty. This is a hefty problem for the district attorney; however, the goal is to stop innocent individuals from being found guilty of a criminal offense they did not devote.
Since the prosecution has the burden of proof in a criminal trial, the protection is not required to offer any proof or statement. The State always provides its instance initially in a criminal test. When the State rests, the protection has the alternative to present a defense– or otherwise. This is a strategic choice. Suppose the State’s case is fragile and based on just inconclusive evidence. In that case, the protection may decide to do nothing and enable the court or court to decide based only on the State’s failure to satisfy its worry. If the defense does determine existing proof, the offender needs to decide whether to take the stand and testify.
Things to Take Into Consideration When Considering Taking the Stand
Among the most critical decisions for the protection in a criminal trial is putting the defendant on the stand. There are considerable benefits and drawbacks to each option.
Although the judge will undoubtedly advise the jurors that they cannot deduce guilt from the offender’s silence, the fact is that some jurors will wonder why the defendant did not take the stand. Add to that the truth that sometimes there are things that can only be explained by the offender. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can locate innovative means to get several realities into proof without the defendant’s testament. In some cases, just the offender can explain why he/she claimed something during an interview or why he/she remained in a particular area at a specific time.
Frequently, nevertheless, the most significant putting the offender on the stand subjects the defendant to cross-examination by the prosecuting attorney. Some witnesses cannot stand up to interrogation, even if they are entirely innocent, because it can be arduous and also ruthless. Permitting the defendant to testify might likewise open the door to things the protection does not desire the jury to understand, such as prior sentences the accused may have. If the accused made irregular statements in a previous meeting or makes an inconsistent statement on the stand, the offender can show up incredibly elusive, unstable, or deceitful– all things you don’t want the jury to assume about the accused.
The bottom line is that the choice to take the stand is one you absolutely cannot make gently. You must go over the alternatives at length with your defense attorney so that you make the right choice together.