Clearly, one of the most important decisions to be made with regard to a criminal trial is whether the accused will testify. Many factors should be considered before making this decision as it could ultimately impact, for better or worse, the verdict of the jury.
Because of the importance and the fundamental right of testifying, the final decision should be made by the accused. However, the final decision of whether to testify in many cases should not be made too early. Evidence and rulings at trial may impact the wisdom of testifying. While the accused does have the right to make this decision, it is absolutely vital to communicate with the attorney to make sure this is the wisest course of action.
One particularly important consideration is the scope of the cross-examination. Although New York’s Criminal Procedure Law is silent on the matter, New York Case law requires the prosecutor’s right to cross-examine be balanced with the accused’s right to a fair trial. This means that prior to the trial, upon application by Criminal Attorneys Buffalo New York, the court will rule on what acts in the accused’s past the prosecution may use on cross-examination. The ruling may address not only prior convictions and underlying facts, but also specific criminal, vicious or immortal acts for which no formal charges were brought.
Again, if you find yourself going through the criminal process, it is very important to find lawyers in buffalo ny free consultation