Any criminal defense attorney will tell you that when you decide to take the stand to testify on your own behalf, it's not just about what you say and how you say it. You also need to be aware of your body language, which can help or hurt you. Even though no members of the jury might be body language experts, the average person gets certain feelings when watching people using certain types of body language. You can expect your criminal defense attorney to go over some dos and don'ts concerning body language to ensure that your testimony is effective. Here are some tips that you should remember.
Lean Forward At Key Times
Someone who leans away while speaking may look as though he or she is trying to keep a secret or perhaps not divulging the whole truth. This is a body language mannerism that you definitely don't want to employ when you're testifying on your own behalf. Conversely, leaning forward in the direction of the person to whom you're speaking indicates honesty and openness. This will obviously be easier when your own defense attorney is talking to you, but you should strive to also use this posture when you're under cross-examination.
Don't Cross Your Arms
In a similar way to leaning back during a conversation, crossing your arms across your chest isn't a beneficial thing to do. It often depicts deception — you're covering up your body because you're trying to cover up what you're saying, some people might think. There's little doubt that crossing your arms can sometimes be comfortable, but try to avoid sitting in this way. Keeping your hands folded neatly on your lap is a better approach, and can remind you not to involuntarily cross your arms.
Nod At The Right Times
Verbally agreeing at the right time can help your case, but so can the subtle act of nodding. When your defense attorney speaks, some jurors will be watching him or her — and others will be watching you. When the attorney makes a point about your innocence, a subtle nod sends a message that you agree with him or her, and this might be because you're actually innocent. A juror who picks up on this small movement may begin to believe more strongly in your innocence, which can go a long way toward helping your case.
By keeping these tips in mind, and asking your criminal law attorney about others that you can use, you'll strengthen your situation.Share
29 December 2018
Growing up in a law enforcement family, I learned a lot about how arrests take place, what goes into investigations, and more. That gave me a really unique insight when it comes to criminal defense options and the areas where there may be vulnerabilities or loopholes that can be used in court. I've done a lot of research into the legalities of criminal defense as well, so it's allowed me to merge the two and create a site that offers a comprehensive look at criminal defense options and the court's expectations. It's always best to work with a lawyer, but having an understanding of the basics first will help.