Monday, August 3, 2015

How Much Input Should You Contribute in a Criminal Case?

Defense in a criminal case is not the sole territory of your lawyer. He or she has to work in collaboration with you as the defendant. While your lawyer should have a solid legal foundation as well as more experience handling matters such as questioning potential jurors, cross examining witnesses and presenting evidence, , you also have a say. After all, it is your fate that’s on the line and your lawyer is simply acting as your advocate and representative. Just how much involvement should you have in your defense? Here is some key information to consider.

Strategy Meeting

The law dictates that your criminal lawyer consult with you before making important decisions. Your opinion about who to call as witnesses, how to cross-examine them, what arguments to make, what evidence to present, and which jurors to accept or strike should be considered. Let your lawyer know exactly what you think and listen to /her opinions.

Your Rights

Many decisions are yours to make. According to the North Carolina State Bar and the American Bar Association Standards for Criminal Justice, it is your right to decide what plea you wish to enter, and whether to waive a jury trial or accept a plea bargain. You can also decide whether to testify or not.  And it is your decision to appeal a verdict or not. However, since these are big decisions with big consequences, it is advised that you consult with your attorney, who will always have your best interest in mind.

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