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Is pointing out case law and points of law accepted in an opening statement or closing argument?

Honesdale, PA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

With the forgery law. It is stipulated that in order for a forgery to be committed there must be proof of intent or harm. If you have a check that got washed out in the laundry and wrote over a couple of the words to make them clear but never even tried to cash it and had it in your wallet holding it until you could get the writer to issue a new one. Then you got stopped and a cop took the check out of your wallet and charged you with forgery. They say they won't drop charges but I say it won't hold up in court. I think their just throwing stuff at the wall to see if it sticks to intimidate me.

Attorney Answers 3


The only advice that anyone on this board can give you is to stop everything you're doing and talk to an attorney about your case immediately. The answer to your question is "yes," a properly skilled attorney can argue points of law to the jury in an appropriate way. If you try to do this yourself, you will almost certainly fail to do it effectively or appropriately. Further, the issue you identified is more a matter of fact than law. The jury first must accept your version of the events as true, and that comes down to experienced trial advocacy. Trying to represent yourself would be a terrible mistake, and you need a criminal defense attorney. If you can't afford to retain an attorney, go to the public defender's office and apply for a free one.

This answer is provided is for informational purposes only. It is intended to provide general information and does not create an attorney-client relationship with me or my law office. Nothing here should be relied upon as legal advice, and only an attorney with knowledge of your specific case can give you advice as to how the law applies. Nothing in this response creates an attorney-client relationship and therefore these communications cannot be treated as privileged or confidential.

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I likewise interpret your question to evidence your intention to represent yourself. The only thing I can say to you is that is a terrible decision on your part and makes a bad outcome virtually certain. Certainly its is proper for an attorney to argue the law as it pertains to the underlying evidence. Arguing particular cases to a jury is not. The court instructs the jury on the applicable law, but even that doesn't expose the jurors to specific cases from our appellate courts.

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Let me be the third voice in this chorus to strongly recommend that you not represent yourself. You absolutely need an experienced criminal defense attorney here. Anything short of that is a mistake. If you cannot afford an attorney, contact the public defender.

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