Michigan Felony Assault Charge: To Testify Or Not...

undefinedMichigan Felony Assault Charge: Should I testify? Assault Attorney Brian J. Prain Talks About Your Rights, Your Options, and Your Decision to Testify... or Not!

Michigan Felony Assault Charge is not to be taken lightly.  Because of this,  every Michigan Felony Assault Charge case should be prepared as though going to trial, whether it actually does or not.  When facing  a Michigan Felony Assault Charge in Michigan, you can be sentenced to years in prison.  Depending on the type of Michigan Felony Assault Charge (Felonious Assault under MCL 750.82, Assault With Intent to Murder under MCL 750.83, Assault With Intent to go Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder under MCL 750.84, the penalty can include up to LIFE in Prison.

To refuse to testify without having it used against you by the Judge, the Prosecutor, or the Jury is the guaranteed 5th Amendment Right of every person facing a Michigan Felony Assault Charge.  So, how do you decide if you should testify in your own Michigan Felony Assault charge?

Michigan Felony Assault Charge, by it's very nature, is a "he said - she said" scenario, unless there is an eyewitness, or some type of electronic evidence such as audio or video recordings.  When the prosecutor presents evidence at the Preliminary Exam or Trial, the victim will certainly be telling their side of the story.  Should you do so as well?

At Prain Law, PLLC, it has been our experience that when someone accused of a Michigan Felony Assault Charge can testify... they should!  The chances of your being found not guilty will increase significantly.  But you must prepare, prepare, prepare.  If the Jury perceives one slip-up of your credibility, you'll likely be convicted of the Michigan Felony Assault Charge.

Why testify?  Because suddenly you're not just the person accused of a Michigan Felony Assault Charge anymore ... you're a real person with important information concerning important aspects of the case.  The Judge and Jury hear your voice, get to know you, and come to understand you.  Your testimony of the facts bridges a 'gap' that can otherwise exist between you and those who are deciding your fate.  You may be the only person capable of telling and establishing the whole truth - that you were actually acting honestly and reasonably in Self-Defense, or that no Michigan Felony Assault occurred at all.

Perhaps somewhere within this Michigan Felony Assault Charge you did do something that would otherwise be considered a crime.  But because what you did was within the boundary's of the law, because you were acting in Self-Defense or in the Defense of Others, a strong defense can be established by your testimony.

But when facing a Michigan Felony Assault Charge, testifying can be dangerous too...  When facing a Michigan Felony Assault Charge we discourage the defendant from taking the stand when any of the following apply:

  1. The defendant is so nervous about testifying or being cross-examined, that they could actually do damage to their defense and therefore risk conviction of the Michigan Felony Assault Charge.
  2. The defendant has a history of aggressive, assaultive or violent behavior, whether or not you were ever arrested or charged.  These things could result in being entered as evidence, but generally require pretrial Notice under MRE 404(b).  Have you ever been accused of a Michigan Felony Assault Charge before?
  3. Persons with prior convictions of crime involving false statements or dishonesty, or who otherwise have a reputation for dishonesty or being untrustworthy, under MRE 608 and 609.
  4. Those who simply don't present themselves, or speak well.

So, what's the bottom line?  When facing a Michigan Felony Assault Charge, you need to act fast and call a competent and well-trusted legal defense attorney.  Brian J. Prain, at Prain Law, PLLC, is a skilled and proficient attorney that can help you make the right decisions for your case.  The Law Office of Brian J. Prain has been nominated in Super Lawyers Magazine and featured in the September, 2013 Hour Detroit Magazine for his success.  Brian J. Prain has been named one of Michigan's Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40.   If you're facing a Michigan Felony Assault Charge, call our law offices at (248) 731-4543, or use the following Contact Form

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