If you were recently arrested for a crime, your best bet at walking away with an innocent verdict (or reduced charges) will require hiring a great trial attorney. A trial attorney will represent you in your case, and good trial attorneys have several main goals during criminal cases. Here are three of the main goals the attorney you select should have when representing you in your criminal case.
Choose The Right Jurors
Voir dire is the process courts use for selecting juries to serve on trials. When this occurs, there may be over 100 potential jurors to choose from. The attorneys handling the case will have the right to interview the jurors and select the ones they want for the jury. They will have to narrow this down to a certain number of jurors, and this number is selected by the court based on the rules in the state. Typically, there are six to 23 jurors on a panel during a criminal case.
To choose the right jurors, your lawyer will need to know you and your case. The goal will be to choose jurors that appear to be fair, unbiased, and rational. Your attorney will most likely try to choose people that appear compassionate and empathetic. Jurors like that might have a harder time deciding on a guilty verdict.
Discredit The Prosecution's Witnesses
A second goal your attorney will have in your case is to discredit any witnesses the prosecution calls to the stand. Witnesses that have testimony against you could hurt your case, especially if they appear to be credible and trustworthy. To compensate for any testimony that is against your case, your attorney is likely to bring up information that would discredit these witnesses. If a witness does not appear believable, the jury will have a harder time using their testimony against you.
To disprove credibility, your lawyer might use some of the following tactics:
- Bringing up shady events from the past – If your lawyer finds out that a witness had numerous extramarital affairs, he or she might bring this up in court. While this information may have nothing to do with your case, it can make a witness look bad.
- Pointing out contradictory information – Before witnesses appear in court, they must typically write or record statements that contain the information they know about the case. Your lawyer will have time to hear or read these statements, and this will give him or her time to find discrepancies in the details. If your lawyer can successfully find contradictory information, it can make a witness's testimony less believable.
Fight That There Is No Physical Evidence
It is easier to convict a person when there is physical evidence to prove the person committed the crime; however, courts will also allow circumstantial evidence in court. Circumstantial evidence is the type that makes it appear that a person committed the crime, but this type of evidence does not directly prove the person did in fact commit the crime. Instead, circumstantial evidence is just the information witnesses supply the court with. It may contain opinions or memories of conversations or actions they claimed to see, but there is really no proof in this type of evidence.
If your case lacks physical evidence, your lawyer may continuously fight in court that the evidence is strictly circumstantial. Jurors may have a harder time convicting you if they are reminded of this all the time, because circumstantial evidence can leave doubt in their minds. Your attorney will work on increasing the amount of doubt the jurors have about you, and this too could help them vote for an innocent verdict.
A good trial attorney will focus on these three areas in your case, and this could help you with the verdict you receive. If you need a good attorney to handle your case, look for an experienced trial attorney in your area today.