Credibility In A Criminal Case
If you’ve recently been arrested and charged with a crime, you must understand the most crucial ingredients for success in your criminal case. A qualified criminal defense attorney is vital for the success of your criminal case. So if you are facing criminal charges and haven’t yet hired a criminal defense attorney, it is in your best interest to hire one. Besides hiring an attorney, another crucial ingredient for success in your criminal case is credibility. You need to be considered credible, and your witnesses must also be considered credible. Without credibility, it is hard to win a criminal case.
What Is Credibility?
Credibility is the power to elicit belief. When you are credible, you are trusted. In criminal cases, judges and juries determine whether a defendant and his or her witnesses are credible in their testimony. Judges and juries determine which testimony is to be believed and which is to be discounted.
Suppose a judge or jury deciding your case finds that your testimony or that of one of your witnesses is less than credible. In such a case, the case against you may become stronger. The stronger your credibility and the credibility of your witnesses, the weaker the case against you.
In deciding whether someone is credible, a judge or jury may consider, among many others, the following factors;
- How well the person saw, heard, or sensed what he or she described in court.
- How the person looked, acted, and spoke while testifying
- How well the person remembered and told what occurred
- Whether the person had any reason to tell a lie
- Whether the person showed any bias
- Whether the person has any personal stake in the outcome of the case
- Whether the person has a personal relationship with any other parties involved
Why Is Credibility Important?
If a judge or jury believes what you say as a defendant and what your witnesses say, your position is stronger and the arguments presented are received better. Also, when a judge or jury finds you and your witnesses credible, your chances of seeing a positive outcome from your case and receiving minimized punishment increase.
Witness credibility can positively affect defense theories such as alibi. Alibi is a defense alleging that a criminal defendant was somewhere other than at the crime scene when the crime happened.
Enhancing Credibility in Court
In order to enhance your chances or the chances of your witness being considered credible in court, there are some things you and your witnesses can do. Firstly, find someone who has no personal relationship with you to testify. Judges and juries usually see people with no personal relationship with a party as more credible.
Secondly, you and your witness should show up in court on time, dress well, always be aware of your body language, and always respect the judge. Judges and jury members observe all these things, and since they are only human, they can draw conclusions based on what they observe.
Contact Citizen Soldier Law
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in New Jersey and need the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney, contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at Citizen Soldier Law at 973-937-6010.