Most criminal defense attorneys advise their clients to not take the stand. In some cases, that may be the best defense given the facts of the case. However, there are many circumstances when it is imperative that the client take advantage of the opportunity to tell their story to the jury. Recently, CPLS ,P.A. represented a client charged with battery of a hotel employee. We did three essential things to prepare him to testify:
- We had the client testify in several mock trials before focus groups. This gave both us and the client a chance to see how potential jurors might view his testimony. We did these mock trial sessions in actual courtrooms so that the client was prepared for the stress and rigor of taking the stand.
- We videotaped the client’s testimony and provided him with feedback. This allowed the client to eliminate various behaviors that may have distracted the jury from his presentation.
- We took the client through an aggressive mock cross-examination. This helped the client to be prepared for the prosecutor’s cross-examination.
At the end the case, the jury returned a verdict in 15 minutes. I believe that the client’s successful testimony was the primary reason for the acquittal.
At CPLS, P.A., our criminal defense team comprises attorneys who have over twenty years of experience in handling trials. Don’t just hire a plea attorney. Hire an attorney who knows how to prepare for and win a trial. For additional information or assistance, contact Attorney James Smith at (407) 647-7887. You can view the Criminal Defense services that CPLSA, P.A. offers here.
If you’ve been stopped and searched by the police it’s important to know what your rights are and what the police can and can’t do. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects all citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Recently the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in the case of Riley v. California that limits what law enforcement can do when they arrest individuals who are suspected of committing a crime.
In Riley v. California a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that police do not have the automatic right to engage in the warrantless search of the cell phones of those who have been arrested. Unless there is evidence to show the phone has been used to facilitate the crime or contains evidence of the crime the Supreme Court ruled that the police must obtain a warrant before searching the phone.
Most people now carry smart phones and they contain so much information about our personal lives.
Writing for the majority Justice Roberts recognized this fact when he said, “Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the ‘privacies of life.”
Many criminal cases are built on evidence that has been obtained as a result of an illegal search or seizure. A skilled criminal defense attorney can assist you by filing the appropriate motions to suppress evidence. If successful these motions can usually result in charges being dropped and cases being dismissed.
If you have been stopped or arrested by the police and you feel that your rights were violated contact Chambers Legal. We have a team of experienced attorneys who have practiced criminal law in federal and state courts. You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. We are here to help you defend that right.
This is the first of a continuing series of blog posts on your constitutional rights in the criminal context.
Today’s topic: The Right to Remain Silent.
You have the right to remain silent. How I wish many of my clients had listened to these words before they were arrested and questioned by law enforcement. Most criminal cases are built on the foundation of admissions and confessions made by criminal suspects. Without those statements many cases could not be prosecuted.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person shall be required to answer any questions or make any statements which will subject him to incrimination. When you are approached or stopped by law enforcement and questioned the best strategy is to simply inform the officer that you do not wish to make any statements until you have the chance to consult with an attorney.
The law does ordinarily require you to provide information such as your name and address, or to produce your drivers’ license. Beyond that you are not required to talk to the police or other law enforcement agents.
Conversations that at first appear to be innocent could result in you getting into trouble as a result of the statements you make.
The advice of an experienced attorney can help you navigate the tricky process of dealing with law enforcement.
If you have been approached by law enforcement officers call our attorneys at CPLS today. Our attorneys have years of experience in representing clients at both the state and federal level.
Whatever the topic, from white collar criminal investigations to traffic offenses, it always best to talk to an attorney before you make any statements.
You have the constitutional right to remain silent. Make sure you exercise that right.