Getting charged with a criminal case is one thing, but preparing for its trial can be particularly nerve-wracking. You are finally going to face the judge who will be deciding your fate. Since it is one of the most important things of your life, you must prepare yourself before entering the courtroom.
A Geneva, NY criminal defense lawyer has handled hundreds of cases like yours before and knows what to expect at a criminal trial. Speaking to an attorney will give you an idea of how to prepare yourself.
Steps to prepare yourself for a criminal trial
Get a lawyer.
You do not want to face a criminal trial alone. No matter how educated you think you may be in the field, no one can help you get out of legal trouble like a Geneva, NY lawyer. Hiring your own attorney assures you that they have your best interests at heart and will do everything in their power to help you.
Plea discussions and pretrial motions.
By discussing with your attorney, you should decide whether you want to plead guilty or not. The outcome of the case will depend on your answer. Make sure you attend all the pretrial hearings, as missing out on them leaves a poor impression. If you are facing more than six months in jail, you also have the right to pick a jury.
Stay out of trouble.
It is crucial that you stay out of trouble before and during your trial. Obey all the federal and state laws and become the ideal citizen. Follow all the court orders promptly, such as submitting drug/alcohol test samples. You should also avoid talking about the case with your friends or family in real life or social media.
Decide whether you want to testify.
It is important that you discuss the pros and cons of testifying with your attorney and then make a decision. According to the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to choose if you want to testify or not. However, jurors often assume that a person who is not guilty should be comfortable getting up on the stand and speaking for themselves. Someone who knows they are guilty tends to feel more nervous.
Moreover, testifying also allows you to narrate your part of the story. You are able to provide more information to the court and explain out-of-context statements the prosecution presents.
Going to the trial.
Make sure you dress appropriately. Informal clothes tend to give off the impression that you do not take the trial seriously. Remember what your attorney said and follow accordingly. Also, make sure that you remain calm during the whole session. It is easy to get angry hearing other people witnessing against you, but you must suppress your emotions for the time being.