Picking up from where we left off in Should You Testify in Your Defense? Here’s What to Consider (Pt. 1), below are some more important questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to take the witness stand in your defense case.
To Testify or Not To Testify? Here’s What You Need to Think About…
2. Will I be able to stay calm under cross examination?
While being aware of your body language and how you say things as you testify in your defense are both extremely critical, so too will be maintaining your composure under possibly intense cross examination by a prosecutor. In fact, you will need to be aware that prosecutors will probably do whatever they can to try to:
- Rattle you
- Get you to lose your temper
- Get you to say things you don’t necessarily mean or intend to say.
So, if you have a temper or a short fuse and there is a significant chance that you will lose your cool when a prosecutor is firing off rapid, probing and maybe even offensive questions at you, think again about whether you should take the witness stand to testify in your defense.
3. Will I be sympathetic to the jury?
This is a question that you may want to answer with some input from an experienced criminal defense attorney who is more familiar how jurors perceive defendants and how you will likely be perceived in the upcoming trial. If you and your story are more likely to gain the sympathy and understanding of a jury (than not), then taking the witness stand to testify in your defense may be a good move for you.
If, however, you are not very sympathetic, then you may want to ask yourself some of the other questions in this blog series to better determine whether to testify in your defense. Here, it’s also important to point out that, even if your appearance is not sympathetic to a jury, taking the stand to explain yourself may change the way a jury perceives you and, in turn, can be important to the strength of your defense case.
For some more questions to ask when deciding whether to testify in your defense, be sure to look for the upcoming conclusion to this blog series!
Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kohn Law Firm
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