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  • First Case

    I have my first court case next week. Any tips to get me through?
    yknotus

  • #2
    Felony or Misd???
    "You have the right to remain silent....so shut the **** UP!!!!"

    "Is that Walter? He scares me....He's got gas!" The Dead Terrorist/ Jeff Dunham

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    • #3
      One of each

      Assault and Criminal threat.
      yknotus

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      • #4
        read your notes..date...time...etc...as a rule of thumb I count to three after the defense asks a question. This allows you to properly formulate an answer and allows the prosecutoring attorney to object to the ridiculous question that was just asked. Make sure if you dont understand a question tell the attorney so they can clarify. Don't assume and don't guess. Either you know the answer or you don't recall.

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        • #5
          Oh and in my experience the victim rarely shows up and the case is tossed

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          • #6
            Ok...my bad I just looked at your profile, U Deputy, and Me city cop.

            If it is a Prelim, no big deal. It is real informal, or it is here in Bama. Mostly the Defense Att. trying to get the bond lowered so he/she can look good to his/her client. Most of the time you and the Def Att are barganing, they have a job to do as we do, but keep in mind that all lawyers are members of the same club and judges are lawyers too. Mostly it is for the judge to determine if the case is to be bound over to the grand jury.

            If it is a Trial...Have fun!!!! The Defense Att will try to trip you up as much as they can. If you've got a slam dunk case and the Def Att knows it, it shouldn't take that long. Biggest thing...KEEP YOUR COOL!!!! Know your case and look sharp. Always answer respectful while looking at the jury, keep them involved and awake.

            Keep in mind that I don't know how your courts work, but most are about the same. I believe there will be others putting in thier 2 cents here.
            "You have the right to remain silent....so shut the **** UP!!!!"

            "Is that Walter? He scares me....He's got gas!" The Dead Terrorist/ Jeff Dunham

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            • #7
              Thanks for the words of wisdom. I am looking on this as a learning experience, but at the same time hoping that I don't look like a complete fool. My field notes are extensive and my affidavit is also very detailed. I put a lot of emphasis on the emotional state of the victim.
              yknotus

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              • #8
                Don't answer a question with more info than they ask for unless they try to trap with a yes or no. Mouthpieces are good at mixing words they will get close to what occurred then make small verbal plays to change things, Listen. Don't answer compound questions, if they do that ask them which question they want you to respond to.

                Don't use Police talk in front of a jury they won't understand it, If the mouthpiece for the suspect tries to draw you into a heated verbal exchange and yells or says something insulting, in a very calm even voice ask them to repeat the question, this often calms them down as they don't want to keep yelling in the courtroom, and if it was insulting will force them to tone it down as they will begin to look like the bad guy attacking the poor officer for doing his job to the jury. Don't stammer in your answer, take a few seconds to process what was asked and answer. Don't use "and um" when you answer, and don't chew gum in the courtroom.
                Settings don't change the facts, the mouthpiece is not counting on changing what went on, he's counting on you helping him talk a jury out of convicting him for doing it by showing the process was flawed.
                Well I could go on and on but that’s a good bit.
                U.S. Marshals Service
                Only those who are not pursued ever truly escape

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                • #9
                  In addition to above: tell the truth like God's watching (and He is). You're the good guy and the truth is your friend. Even if you screwed up, just say what happened 100% true and let the chips fall.

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                  • #10
                    Most attorneys are idiots. Don't volunteer any information. Bring your paperwork don't guess on anything if you can't remember state that you don't remember.

                    Once you do it court just becomes easy money.
                    Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JDCOP View Post
                      Don't volunteer any information.
                      +1

                      Keep your answers as short as possible. Be on guard if he asks questions that make you feel like you need to offer an explanation. Remember, he knows where he's trying to take you, you don't. Don't make it any easier for him.
                      “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

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                      • #12
                        Short and sweet answers are key.. Stick to the facts, review your report, and be confident in your course of action. Take your time to understand the questions being asked. Ask them to clarify any questions that are at all confusing. Look polished, confident, and make the first one a good one. Its really no biggie!
                        "The handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them awhile."

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                        • #13
                          Clean, pressed Class A uniform or neat, clean suit (dept. regs), shoes shined, respectful to all, even if outside the courtroom you know and kid with the judge, defense, or prosecution.
                          No jokes or side comments - YOU are a professional, look and act like it, even if everyone else is laid back.
                          Know the facts COLD - if you need to, refer to your report. Don't forget to breath. Have the exact same demeanor with the prosecution and defense. You are not concerned with the outcome, just the truth.
                          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                          John Stuart Mill

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                          • #14
                            Make eye contact!

                            Just like the old high school public speaking class- make eye contact with your audience- don't just stare at the attorney or the desk.

                            If it is a bench trial play to the judge- look at the attorney and when you answer your questions turn toward the bench. If you have a jury don't be afraid to turn and speak to them like you are having a conversation. Make eye contact with the jurors and don't be afraid to smile once in a while- the defense attorney's hate this because it shows the jurors you are a person- are honest and not afraid to speak to them.

                            I like to face the jury if I can when I am being sworn in to show them I am confident and serious about my oath.
                            ---Cut the red wire---

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                            • #15
                              All excellent advice. Thank you all for the help. I hope that the day will come when I can return the hospitality.
                              yknotus

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