When accused of a criminal act, you probably already know you will be spending some time in the courtroom. Unlike what you may have seen in movies or television shows, there is a certain way you are expected to behave in the courtroom. You should aim to be on your best behavior when you are in front of a judge and jury, especially since they are going to determine your guilt or innocence.
One thing you need to know is when you can and cannot speak. Your criminal attorney suffolk county will advise you to say nothing unless he or she advises you to do so. Typically, there are only a few instances in which you are expected to speak. The following are some examples:
Entering a Plea
One instance is when you are entering your plea. You and your dwi lawyer suffolk county will have already discussed your plea beforehand, so there should be no confusion on what you need to say. When you are called to enter your plea, you only need to say either “guilty” or “not guilty.” Don’t say anything else to the judge, as you could risk a contempt of court charge in addition to your other charges.
You will also be expected to talk if you choose to testify on your own behalf. During this time, you will be questioned by both the prosecution and defense lawyers. Your criminal defense attorney will advise you to make short, pointed statements when asked about the events leading up to your arrest. Be sure to remain emotionless as possible so you don’t incriminate yourself even more.
Speaking to the Judge
If you are found guilty of a crime, you will have the opportunity to say something to the judge during sentencing procedures. The best idea is to prepare a written statement that you share with your attorney rather than speaking right off the cuff. During this period, you will want to ask for a lighter sentence or other requests you may have. The key is to be respectful, peaceful, and free of anger. If you begin to shout or show disrespect, the judge will likely have you removed and not listen to what you have to say.
Speaking to the Victim or Victim’s Family
During sentencing, you also have the opportunity to talk to the person or persons who were victimized by your actions. Similarly to speaking to the judge, you should prepare a statement ahead of time to read aloud. This is a time to apologize for your actions or express remorse regarding the case.
While the goal is to say very little when you are in court, it is important to understand the proper decorum in the courtroom. Your criminal defense attorney will prepare you for everything you will need to know, and it is important to take their advice seriously.