Preparing for a Criminal Trial – If someone has been charged with a crime there are only three ways in which that can end. The charges can be dismissed, the defendant can take a plea, or the charges can be resolved by means of a criminal trial. Though trials are often portrayed on television, they are not as common as some people might think.
Further, unless someone has gone through the process before, they don’t know what goes into preparing for a criminal trial. They often don’t know what their lawyer is doing to prepare, and they don’t know what they should be doing to prepare. In this blog, we will discuss preparing for a criminal trial. Like all of our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only, and not as substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
Know what evidence the government has against you
It is important for both you and your lawyer to know what evidence the government has against you in a case. Just about all of that information is found in your discovery. Prior to trial your attorney will have gone through your discovery several times. You are entitled to information in your discovery as well. In most cases you will be entitled to a copy of it. You should read it and inform your attorney of any inaccuracies and provide any helpful clarifying information. Your awareness of the evidence will give you a better understanding of the situation.
Listen to your lawyer and do what is asked of you
Your lawyer had to complete law school, pass the bar exam, and has training and experience. Listen to him or her. Give the information that is asked of you, go to court on time, and meet with your attorney when your attorney requests it. Participation in your trial preparation can make a huge difference in the outcome of your trial.
Put some thought into whether you will testify
In a criminal trial, the defendant can never be forced to testify if he or she does not want to. Additionally, he or she can testify if that is desired. This is a decision that only the defendant can make. Of course, you should always consider the advice of your attorney but this is not a decision you want to make in a few minutes in the middle of the trial. Discussing with your attorney ahead of time whether or not you should testify will save you a lot of aggravation and stress later on.
A criminal trial is a stressful and complicated matter. If you are going to be involved with one, help yourself as much as you can.