When you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, all you may want to do is shout that you are innocent. Criminal charges lead to a formal process that you have to follow in order to prove your innocence. It does not matter how firmly you insist you are not to blame, a prosecutor who believes they can win the case against you – or pressure you into signing a plea deal – will move forward with changes. You have to carefully prepare to tell your side of the story and present a defense in court.
Preparing to testify in court requires the assistance of an experienced and skilled Houston sex crimes lawyer like Ned Barnett. You probably are unsure of what to say or do in court, and you may not know what the prosecutor is going to ask. Attorney Barnett can help with all of these concerns. He will appear in court and help you build a strong defense. He will make sure you know what to expect during a trial, and he will help you articulate your side of the story. Most importantly, he will help you prepare for the types of questions you will get from the prosecutor and how to best answer such inquiries.
To learn more about how a skilled criminal defense attorney prepares the falsely accused to testify, call (713) 222-6767 or contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett online to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.
Preparing to Testify After Being Falsely Accused of a Sex Crime
When you are accused of a sex crime in Texas, it is intimidating to have to testify in court. In many cases, however, it is important to do so. It is imperative to tell your side of the story, especially if you are part of a he-said/she-said situation. By going to the stand and answering questions, you give the jury a chance to see and know you. Once they see you as a person, not as “just a defendant,” they have to think seriously about convicting you and forcing you to endure the harsh consequences of a sex crime conviction.
To take advantage of the potential benefits of testifying in court, you have to know what to expect. You need to be ready to calmly and thoroughly answer questions. This can be difficult to do, but it is possible.
Preparing to testify regarding false accusations of sex crimes requires:
Knowing How to Maintain Your Appearance
Whether you like it or not, people assume a lot based on how you look. Your attorney will discuss with you how you should appear in court and on the stand, including what to wear, how to keep your hair, and whether or not to wear makeup or jewelry.
Knowing Where to Look
During your trial, there will be several people in the room. It can be confusing to know where to look and when. Your attorney will go over this with you. Ned Barnett will discuss who to look at and when. For example, he may recommend looking at the jury sometimes and drawing them into the conversation. However, making extended eye contact with a few jurors can make them feel uncomfortable and harm your case. While preparing the falsely accused to testify, attorney Barnett will also review who to not look at while you are questioned.
Knowing Common Mistakes in Giving Testimony
There are a lot of things you can do while on the stand that could hurt your case, including using specific phrases, different tones of voice, copping an attitude, and certain body language. Acting or saying something in a specific way can make you seem guilty, even when you are not. Behaving a certain way can damage your credibility and make your accuser seem more believable than you.
By hiring a Houston sex crimes lawyer, you have someone to fully explain common mistakes of giving testimony. Through many practice sessions, your lawyer will help you break yourself of any bad habits. In some cases, they may record a mock trial so that you can view your demeanor, listen to your answers, and see for yourself what you are doing well.
Knowing How to Answer Questions
You have been answering questions in school, at work, and with family and friends your whole life. You may think you know how to adequately answer such inquiries. However, answering a question outside of court is entirely different than answering one on the stand. In life outside of court, when someone asks a question, you consider a great deal of context. You consider what else you know about the situation, and you gauge the information the other person wants to know. Many things impact what you say and how you say it. You often end up giving extra information or answering a question you were not directly asked. This is not how you will handle questions on the stand.
In court, you should only answer the exact question asked, and preferably, with a brief answer. If you can simply say “yes” or “no,” you should. You should never guess, lie, or try to answer a question you do not understand. When necessary, you can say “I don’t know,” “I don’t remember,” or “I don’t understand.”
Knowing the Strengths of Your Case
There are strong points and weak points in every case. You need to understand the strengths of your case and the facts that support your innocence. This will help you tell your story effectively when questioned by your attorney. You want to make sure to draw attention to the facts that support your case. Your lawyer will help you practice including these facts in your testimony naturally.
When attorney Barnett prepares the falsely accused to testify, he provides them with an abundance of information regarding the strengths of his clients’ cases, and how they can play into their defense.
Knowing the Weaknesses in Your Case
While it is important to draw attention to the facts in your favor, you should also understand the facts that could undermine your defense. You need to be prepared for the prosecutor attempting to highlight these facts when they cross-examine you. Your lawyer will prepare you for the questions the prosecutor is likely to ask.
Ned Barnett has handled many sex crimes cases and used to be a state and federal prosecutor. He knows how to think like the other side, which helps him prepare for what the prosecutor may focus on and ask you. When you understand the weaknesses in your case, you will be better prepared to respond to the prosecutor’s questions without incriminating yourself.
Knowing How to Remain Calm
Testifying in a sex crimes case is going to be difficult. The prosecutor is going to say things that make you angry or frustrated. You cannot lose your temper while on the stand. Instead, if you are easy to anger or get flustered, your lawyer will work with you to device a coping mechanism that helps you remain calm.
Contact a Sex Crimes Attorney for Help
If you are facing false accusations of a sex crime, you need to aggressively defend yourself. You need to do everything you can to prove you are innocent. This often requires testifying during the trial. For your testimony to help you, however, you must be prepared. You need to know what to say and how to say it. The Law Offices of Ned Barnett can help you with this. He has years of experience in preparing the falsely accused to testify at trial.
To speak with a lawyer about your case, call (713) 222-6767, or contact us online to schedule a free evaluation.