Things You Must Know Before Going To Trial
If you and your attorney are considering about going to trial on your legal matter, you should be very aware of the following:
Risks Involved In Going To TrialIt's important that your attorney goes over the evidence against you, the potential amount of time that you may do after trial if you lose, and the likelihood of success at trial. You must keep in mind that going to trial is a gamble because there can be no guarantee what the jury will do, and there is no guarantee as to what your sentence will be if you are convicted. I recommend that your attorney exhausts all possible pre-trial routes to resolve your case. In many cases, trial is a last resort after pre-trial negotiations have broken down. Good reasons to go to trial are based on weighing the evidence, the plea offer, and the your possible exposure.
Testifying At Your Own TrialYour and your attorney should determine whether you will be able to add anything to your defense by testifying. The earlier you and your attorney can determine whether you should testify, the more it can benefit your defense strategy. Ultimately, as the defendant, it is your decision to testify. However, you must make an informed decision and go over your it with your attorney.
Evaluating WitnessesYou and your attorney must develop a line of defense after having reviewed all the evidence, and both of you must ensure to keep questions towards witnesses geared toward your defense. Cross examination at prelim should be focused on committing witnesses to certain facts that you may be able to use at trial. Any chance to commit a witness to a statement is beneficial for you for possible impeachment. Interviews with witnesses should be done with a third party present or by an investigator for any possible impeachment issues since your attorney cannot impeach himself/herself.