If you are charged with a criminal crime, you have the right to share your version of the story and the events that took place. You don't have to stay silent if you really think that telling your story would have a positive impact on the outcome of the case. Here are four tips that will help you prepare for taking the stand in your own defense.
#1 Look At The Judge
When you are asked questions on the stand, do not look down at your hands, the floor, or the ceiling. When you are asked a question, answer it confidently and look either at the attorney asking the question or the judge in the eye. Making eye contact when you are on the stand will help increase the likelihood that you will be believed. It shows that you are confident and that you are not trying to hide anything.
#2 Avoid Fidgeting
If at all possible, avoid fidgeting when you are on the stand. Excessive fidgeting will make it look like you are uncomfortable being on the stand, which will make it seem as if you are not comfortable because you are guilty. Body language can give away and tell a lot; do not let your body language tell a false story of guilt.
#3 Speak Up
Next, make sure that you speak up. Do not whisper your answers or mumble them; doing both of these things will make it seem like you don't want anyone to actually here your answers. On the flip side, do not yell or shout your answers either, as doing so will make you appear more aggressive and thus potentially violent or even capable of whatever crimes you are being charged with.
Instead, use your speaking voice that you would use to give a presentation at work or at school. Speak up and with confidence, and make sure that you speak clearly so that everyone can understand you. Make sure that you avoid using slang terms unless the use of one is specifically needed to help your case, and speak in full sentences.
#4 Be Real
Finally, practice with your attorney how to respond to the questions that they are going to ask you and for the questions that the opposing counsel and the judge may ask you. However, don't practice so much that you end up having canned responses. It should not sound like you are reading from a script when you give your testimony; it should sound like you are answering honestly.
For more help, find a lawyer to represent you by visiting a site like http://www.gdamianilaw.com.