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Am I allowed to speak in trial to give the jury valuable details if I have an attorney present?

Jackson, OH |

I believe that it will help. I want to also speak so that the grand jury can hear critical points from myself in full detail that my court appointed attorney may not express thoroughly. I cannot afford an attorney or I would have a better one that wouldn't allow me to worry in this case.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. The best attorneys do not give their clients false assurances or false confidence, and no case is ever a foregone conclusion. Your attorney may be better than you realize. Unless Ohio has some very unusual procedures, the only way you could speak to the jury would be to testify, under oath and subject to cross-examination. You have a constitutional right to do that, but it may be a very, very bad idea. It usually is, and non-attorneys often do not understand how easily a defendant's testimony can become the highway to conviction. As for testifying before the grand jury, it is difficult to think of a situation where that would be at all wise. If you do the things you want to do you will indeed have reason to worry.

    Nobody here on Avvo or anywhere else is in a position to second-guess your lawyer, and it would not be proper to do so, anyway. I can only suggest that you discuss these issues with your own attorney.


  2. As a criminal suspect, you should refrain from making incriminatory statements. Privately consult with your criminal defense attorney. Don't talk or write about the case with anything else.

    No attorney-client relationship is established via AVVO.com. The material posted by Kyle J. Bristow, Esq., is for educational purposes for prospective clients only and people should not make legal decisions based on it. You are advised not to take, or refrain from taking, any action based on what Mr. Bristow has stated on this website.


  3. It appears that you are currently represented by counsel and it would be unethical for another attorney to provide legal advice to you while you are represented by counsel. If you are not satisfied with your current lawyer you should discharge them and hire a new one.

    Attorney Chris Beck
    Beck Law Office, L.L.C.
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    (937)510-6110 phone
    (937)867-4111 fax
    attycbeck@gmail.com
    www.becklawofficellc.com

    The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client relationship. Attorney Beck is available for private hire and consultation for a fee. Only after Attorney Beck is retained as counsel, or agrees to discuss this matter with you privately, shall he be legally deemed to be your Attorney. His responses herein are an attempt to assist persons temporarily based upon the very extremely limited amount of information provided by the questioner


  4. First, be aware that trial and grand jury are completely different things. Trial is where the state has to prove the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Grand jury is used to obtain indictments to felonies.

    If you have questions for your attorney then ask them. Worrying about a possible prison sentence is probably going to happen no matter who your attorney is.


  5. A criminal defendant does not have the option of testifying before a grand jury reviewing your case for indictment. The grand jury is a secret process run by the prosecution where the defense cannot participate. If you misspoke and meant testifying at trial, you always have the option of testifying on your own behalf. However, more often than not it is better to not testify given the risk of self-incrimination or other unavoidable bad facts that could hurt you. While you may feel passionate about getting your defense out there, your attorney is typically in the best objective position to decide whether you should take the risk of testifying at trial. No matter what you decide, the prosecution must prove all charges beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not have to prove anything, unless you are making an affirmative defense such as self-defense, essentially a legal excuse, which has a lower burden of proof and still does not require your testimony. I would trust your attorney's instincts on this. Typically, the risk far outweighs the potential benefit of a defendant taking the witness stand.

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