Felonious Assault Charge in Michigan: Should I Testify or Not?

Felonious Assault Lawyer in Michigan Discusses the Decision to Testify In Your Own Defense or Not...

When facing a Felonious Assault charge in Michigan, you can be sentenced to up to 4 years in Prison (or more if charged as an Habitual Offender). A Felonious Assault (also called Assault With a Dangerous Weapon) charge under MCL 750.82 is nothing to be taken lightly, and each case should be prepared from the start like it's going to Trial, whether it ultimately does or not. If you're accused in Michigan, you'll need to decide if you are willing and able to testify. But how to decide? Read on - as a Michigan Felonious Assault Lawyer, I'll explain . . .

Every person accused of a crime has a 5th Amendment Right to refuse to testify and to not have the Prosecutor argue that you must be guilty because you didn't testify. A Felonious Assault charge, by its nature, is a "he said, she said" type of case, unless there are other credible eyewitnesses or electronic evidence such as video. When the Prosecutor presents the evidence against you, either at Trial or Preliminary Exam, the alleged victim will certainly be telling their side of the story. Should you exercise your right to tell your side?

At Prain Law, PLLC, Michigan Felonious Assault lawyer, it has been our experience that when someone accused of Felonious Assault can testify, they should - and the chances of being found Not Guilty and walking away scott-free increase dramatically. When you testify, all of a sudden, you go from being a stranger sitting there accused of Felonious Assault to being a person; the Judge or Jury can hear your voice, know a little of your personality, and come to like and understand you. Taking the witness stand yourself bridges a rapport gap between you and the people who will decide your fate.

Additionally, you may have done something that would otherwise be a crime, but your defense is that you were lawfully acting in self-defense or the defense of others. In-fact, you may be the only person capable of telling your side of the story and establishing that you acted honestly and reasonably because you were afraid of bodily harm. But testifying can be dangerous too...

There are some people facing Felonious Assault charges that should NOT take the stand. These include: 1) people so nervous about testifying and being cross-examined by a tough prosecutor that their anxiety could actually do damage to their defense; 2) people who have a prior history of any assaultive, aggressive, or violent behavior, whether or not you were arrested or charged [these could end-up being admitted into evidence regardless of whether you testify under Michigan Rule of Evidence 404(b)]; 3) people who have been convicted of crimes involving dishonesty or false statements, who have a reputation for non-trustworthiness, or whom others have an opinion of non-trustworthiness; and 4) people who simply don't present or speak well.

Here's the bottom-line: if you're facing a Michigan Felonious Assault charge (Assault With a Dangerous Weapon), you need to act fast and find a great Michigan Felonious Assault attorney to defend you. A competent criminal defense lawyer can help you make the right decision whether or not to testify. Prain Law, PLLC, Michigan criminal defense lawyer, has been nominated in Super Lawyers Magazine and featured in the September, 2013 edition of Hour Detroit Magazine for our success. Call us anytime at (248) 731-4543 or if speaking by phone is inconvenient or uncomfortable at this point, use our Custom Contact Form.

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