Trials require creative strategizing and critical thinking

| Sep 23, 2019 | San Francisco Civil Litigation Blog |

The delivery of a defense can directly impact the outcome of a case, but some people might skimp on this aspect. Anyone who is part of the defense must understand precisely how their actions can affect the defendant.

One of the most important things to remember when you are presenting a defense is that perception is the priority. You have to think like the jurors who are sitting on the panel. This requires creative thinking in some cases because no two juries are exactly alike.

Avoiding attacks

Many juries feel sympathy for the alleged victim. A defense strategy needs to find the fine line between showing the defendant’s side of the matter and showing respect for the complainant. Defense teams should never make the jury think they are attacking the complainant because this can lead to jurors forming an unfavorable opinion of the defendant.

Choosing words carefully

You need to choose your words carefully when you are addressing the court in a criminal trial. The way members of the defense team relay information can play a role in the perception of it. Being careful about using words that are commonly part of criminal activity, such as “breaking down a door” or “holding a person down” have negative connotations.

Cautious testimony

At no point during a testimony under oath can the person provide false information. Telling the truth is just as important as it is during the opening and closing arguments. Defense attorneys will sometimes deal with expert witnesses. These individuals might be familiar with how testifying goes. What the defense team needs to do is ensure that the share all applicable information and give a valid statement of facts to the court.

Defendants’ rights and wishes

Many defense attorneys opt not to have the defendant testify during trial. The person might want to speak up for their side of the case, but this should only be done if it will benefit their situation. While it is their right to testify, they should be provided with factual information so they can make an informed decision about what they are going to do.

A primary factor in criminal defense cases is having a plan to poke holes in the prosecution’s claims. Every component of the defense must be factual, but you must use your skills to relay things in the intended manner. Exploring all options must occur so you can determine a direction for the case.

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