If you are charged with a crime, it is generally in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent your interests. However, a legal representative is not the only person who may be able to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Let’s take a look at some other individuals who may be able to increase your chances of earning a plea deal or acquittal.
The Judge Overseeing Your Case
A judge may have the authority to have physical evidence suppressed or tell jurors to disregard unfavorable witness testimony. Furthermore, this person may be able to ensure that a prosecutor respects your rights before and during a trial.
An Expert Witness
Your attorney may hire forensic psychologists to assist with the jury selection process or to evaluate your mental health. Other professionals may be called to testify during a trial in an effort to cast doubt on the evidence used against you by prosecutors. Although these individuals didn’t witness the crime that allegedly took place, their professional credentials generally allow them to testify credibly in front of a judge and jury.
A Character Witness
A character witness can be a friend, family member, or colleague who interacts with you on a regular basis. This person will tell a jury that you lack either the temperament or ability to commit a crime. Alternatively, a character witness may attempt to portray you as a sympathetic figure who committed a crime in an effort to protect a friend or loved one.
Eyewitnesses are individuals who saw a crime took place or have other firsthand knowledge of an incident that can be useful when crafting your defense. An eyewitness may contend that you couldn’t have committed the crime because whoever did was taller than you or had a tattoo on his or her face. This person could also explain that he or she was standing next to you when the crime occurred or that you were doing something else when an incident took place.
If you are convicted of a crime, you could spend time in jail, pay a fine or lose a professional license. There is also the possibility that you may spend time on probation or have to register as a sexual offender. Therefore, it is important that you recruit as many people as possible who are willing to vouch for you or otherwise help to create reasonable doubt in a juror’s mind.
Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.