After a person is accused of a sex crime, he or she has the choice to testify if desired, and while a jury is not supposed to hold a decision not to testify against a person, it is usually a good idea to testify in court and give the jury an opportunity to hear your side of the story. After a false allegation, emotions run high and oftentimes defendants need help determining what to say in court and how to go about getting their side of the story out, which is why working with an attorney throughout the preparation stage is essential. There are many elements of the case and a defendant’s testimony to consider before taking the stand, and an experienced sex crimes lawyer can help you prepare for the questions that will be asked and issues that may arise throughout the trial.
In Michigan sex crime cases, testimony from a falsely accused defendant is sometimes the last chance for someone to win over a jury and achieve the result that they deserve. With so much at stake and one short opportunity to speak, it is critical to be fully prepared, and to know what to say and how to present yourself so that the jury can visibly see you are innocent. Avoiding jail time, fines, sex offender registration, and other penalties could depend on how prepared you are for the questions asked by a prosecutor during this stage, and only a top defense lawyer can provide you with the coaching required to develop the courtroom skills needed to avoid conviction.
Probably the most crucial element of testimony preparation is identifying and correcting weaknesses in the case that prosecutors will press hard on. Throughout initial consultations and assessments of your case, an experienced trial lawyer will be able to pinpoint the details of your case that may seem shaky when presented in trial, which will help you prepare answers to clarify your position and counter prosecutor’s attacks once you are on the stand. It is extremely likely that prosecutors will question a defendant on noticeably weak points in their case, and allowing your attorney to push you on these points throughout your practice for the trial will be extremely beneficial as you figure out how to maintain your composure and effectively argue your side when prosecuting attorneys come after you.
A defense attorney will also be able to determine what key points you definitely need to include in your testimony, and can help you prepare to recall these details and seamlessly insert them into your responses to questions on the stand. These details could include physical evidence, DNA test results, details of an alibi, or other essential elements of the case which could help you win over the jury and make them see that you are innocent.
Specific phrases, inflections of the voice, or body language could make a jury believe you are guilty even when you are innocent, and it is important to notice these errors and correct them during your practice so that you do not slip up in the courtroom. You credibility could be jeopardized by simply making one false statement or falling into a trap set by the aggressive questioning of a prosecutor. With extensive practice and the guidance of an experienced defense lawyer, you will be able to avoid incriminating yourself and prepare well thought out responses to anything that prosecutors may throw at you.
One way that a defense attorney can help a defendant prepare and get rid of these small but common mistakes is by recording mock trial sessions or questioning in office well before the trial, then watching back and correcting behaviors that could hurt you in the courtroom. Nervousness, anger, frustration, and other emotions could cause a person to look guilty, and it is important to be aware of the way you are acting when you are on the stand so that you can act in a way that will get the judge and jury on your side.
Grabel & Associates has been working in Michigan sex crimes cases for over a decade, and we know what the jury needs to hear and see in order to return a favorable verdict. Call 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online to learn more about pre-trial preparations in sex offense cases, or contact our team online for a free initial case consultation.