Should You Testify at Trial in Your Drug Case?
Defendants in criminal cases have the right to face their accusers in court. This means that you have the right to a fair trial, and you have the right to testify on the witness stand at your trial. Not all defendants do this, though. Fewer than ten percent of defendants who enter a plea go to trial; most of them plead guilty. Among the defendants who go to trial, some of them choose not to testify and prefer to let the other evidence speak for itself. Some defendants in drug cases have been acquitted after testifying at their own trials, while others have been acquitted after remaining silent. Whether it is better to speak in your own defense or to let your lawyer and the defense witnesses cast doubt on your guilt while you remain silent varies from one case to another. If you are facing drug charges and are trying to decide whether to testify at your trial, contact a Florida drug offenses attorney.
Times When Your Testimony Can Help You Get Acquitted
At your trial, both sides have the right to present exhibits to the jury, summon witnesses, and cross examine each other’s witnesses. In drug cases, the exhibits may include items found at the scene of the arrest, reports from forensics labs, footage from security cameras, and text messages exchanges between the defendant and alleged accomplices, among other types of evidence. You may want to add your own voice and your own perspective to the evidence that the jury will see. These are some instances where your testimony can make your case stronger:
- You are sure that a prosecution witness is lying, and you want to provide testimony that contradicts what the witness said.
- Your first-person story includes details that the jury cannot know from the other evidence.
- You want to drive home the point that, if the jury convicts you, a real person will receive a prison sentence.
Times When Your Case Is Stronger If You Remain Silent
Agreeing to undergo cross examination at any criminal trial, much less your own, requires more than a modest amount of courage. When prosecutors cross examine you, they will try to bring out your anger and fear so that you lose your temper, sound unsure of what you are saying, misspeak, or contradict yourself. In other words, they will try to undermine your credibility. Perhaps you should leave it to your lawyer to say that the text messages you exchanged with an acquaintance who is currently incarcerated do not prove that you participated in a drug deal. It might also be better to let your sister, your AA sponsor, or your landlord talk about how, for the past several years, you have stayed sober and avoided drugs.
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Drug Cases
A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for drug crimes and have decided to plead not guilty. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.