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How Do You Prepare for a Criminal Trial? Part 2
When you’re awaiting a criminal trial, you’re probably nervous about how all the steps of criminal proceedings are going to transpire. And it’s normal. Criminal trials can become lengthy affairs.
However, if you hire a seasoned and dedicated criminal defense attorney in San Diego, and start preparing for all the parts of a criminal trial on time and adequately, there’s little to fear. If you’ve taken a look at the essential steps to take care of prior to a trial, let’s see what else you should do before you step into the courtroom.
What else can I do to prepare for a trial?
The essentials are all checked – you’ve hired a lawyer, you’re prepared all the documentation needed to successfully bring your case to a close, and you’ve gone through all the pretrial procedures.
But, you’re not done yet. There is still more you can and should do in order to continue preparing for your trial. It is only once you complete all of the following steps, alongside the previous ones, that you can consider you’ve done all in your power in preparation for the trial.
Once you’ve completed the pretrial proceedings, you might wonder what you can do and how you should behave in expectation of the trial. Here’s what you should do, but also what you should avoid doing when awaiting trial.
- Follow the orders – The court will issue a set of orders you would be wise to follow. Depending on the type of case and the charges set against you, the rules will differ. For example, the court may require that you submit yourself to drug tests, in which case you should do all you can to not miss a test.
- If you fail to comply with the order the court has set, you risk going to jail prior to your trial, and that will only make your case deteriorate in the eyes of the court.
- No talking – Refrain from discussing the details of your case with any and all third parties. That means no talking about the case with your friends, family, or partner. Letting more people know the details of your case will not help you in the court.
- Also, do not talk to press and law enforcement representatives either without an attorney by your side. Reporters are famous for twisting words, and you definitely do not need any unnecessarily bad press coming your way.
- No tampering with evidence – If you decide to hide essential evidence, or tamper with it, you will only look more guilty when your case reaches trial. Plus, if you destroy evidence, you may hinder law enforcement representatives from finding out who actually committed the crime.
- In case you find additional evidence, call your attorney and present the evidence.
- Refrain from contacting witnesses the prosecution has presented. In addition to being accused of tampering with evidence, you can also suffer the consequences of doing the same with witnesses.
- Improving your behavior – Finally, do everything you can to improve your overall public image by acting calmly, avoiding various outbursts of anger, and keeping yourself out of unfavorable situations.
- This also means improving your social media footprint. Posting derogatory stuff about the parties involved in your case will not help you.
Deciding to testify
When it comes to reaching a decision on whether you want to testify or not, you need to consider the following aspects of deciding or declining to do so.
- Your rights – The Fifth Amendment allows you to choose if you want to testify or not. This is something you should always discuss with your lawyer, although the decision is always yours to make.
- The benefits of deciding to testify – If you’re thinking about taking the stand, you need to discuss the potential benefits of doing so with your lawyer.
- The jury tends to think that a person who is not guilty should have to reason to refuse to testify in court.
- What’s more, when you testify, it allows for your side of the story to be heard. It is often that the facts of your case take a different tone if not presented by you.
- Finally, the statements you made out of the court come across in a different light when you take the stand and place them in context.
So, deciding to testify certainly has a lot of upsides if you decide to do it.
- The downsides of testifying – However, there are also some negative aspects of going on the stand and sharing your story with the court. When you testify, the prosecution can cross-examine you, which can place you in a tight spot. Also, the prosecutor can raise concerns about your testimony, as well as employ various tactics to make you look less than good when on the stand.
That is why you should always weigh your options with your lawyer and why you should reach the decision on whether or not to testify together.
- Practice – Finally, if you decide to take the stand, you need to go through all the motions of your testimony plenty of times, until it becomes second nature. This is where your lawyer’s help is essential. There are some general pointers for you to keep in mind:
- Always try to remain polite and never get angry while on the stand.
- Always look straight at the jury whenever you’re answering questions.
- Keep all your answers short, and never include unnecessary details.
Essential tip: It’s important to note that such important decisions should be made in consultation with your attorney who will take your best interests into consideration.
Finally, you’ve reached the point of actually going to the court of law and being present during your trial. Here’s what you should do and how you should behave during your criminal trial.
- Clothes – The way you look leaves an impact on the jurors. It is important to dress according to the situation at hand, which means you need to look neat, but not wear overly comfortable clothing. A suit should do just fine.
- Listen – Listen to everything your lawyer is telling you. Take advice from your attorney on how to act during the trial, because lawyers tend to have experience and they know what the jury is expecting.
- Calmness – Never lose your temper during the trial. Always try to remain as calm as possible, and never allow yourself to be made anxious by the prosecution. Do something that is able to calm you during the trial.
- Jury – If you’ve chosen a jury trial, now that the jury is watching every move you make. That is why it is vital for you to act appropriately and to not do anything that might make the jury look upon you unfavorably.
- Respect – Finally, remember this one last thing – always address the court, with the utmost respect. That means no forgetting “Your honor”.
“Who is THE criminal defense attorney in all of San Diego I can rely on?”
If your criminal trial is fast approaching, and you still haven’t secured the services of a reputable and dependable criminal defense attorney, you should do so right away. Luckily, you don’t have to look far, as Monder Criminal Lawyer Group is here for you.
Vik Monder and his team of superstar legal minds will help you through all the stages of a criminal defense trial. All you have to do is contact his offices and schedule a consultation. We’re right next to Gaslamp Quarter, so if you ever need our services, you know where to find us.