If you’re a criminal defendant with a trial approaching, we recommend avoiding watching television shows featuring trials. These crime shows are bound to make you anxious–especially since, as we’ve said before, much of what you see on television is nothing like the real thing. If you can’t resist watching anyway, keep in mind these five additional ways that the trials you see on the screen will be nothing like yours.
1. Lawyers can’t give long speeches during questioning.
On many television shows with a trial, the lawyers ask a witness a question and then turn to the jury and start giving a long-winded, damning spiel to the jury based on the answer. But in an actual trial, a lawyer can only frame the “story” of the event during opening and closing statements. During the questioning of a witness, lawyers may only ask questions. If they launched into a speech, the court would surely reprimand them.
2. Legal evidence usually isn’t exciting as you’d think.
In television trials, you see lawyers presenting evidence and controversial witnesses that leave your pulse racing. The truth is far less exciting. Most trials involve affirming lackluster but important evidentiary details that would bore a television viewer, such as the exact positioning–down to a centimeter–of relevant objects during the alleged crime, the length and color of braking marks on a road, and so forth. Cases can turn on such small details, but it’s rarely as stimulating as presented on television.
3. The lawyer is the whole team.
You rarely see the full legal team on a television show–the lawyers do pretty much everything. In reality, you and your lawyers are supported by numerous people, including law clerks, paralegals, legal secretaries, the office manager, and file/data entry clerks. The entire team is dedicated to building the strongest case possible for you.
4. The courtroom is packed with spectators.
The fictional courtroom is inevitably full of spectators sitting on the edge of their seats as the trial unfolds. Unless you are a celebrity or the case has received a lot of media attention, the chances are high that only a few people–if any–will be watching the trial.
5. Outbursts frequently happen in the courtroom.
Nobody’s going to tune into a television show that doesn’t have plenty of drama. So, courtroom scenes tend to be filled with shouting lawyers and unruly defendants and witnesses. On the other hand, real-life trials are usually fairly tame events. Occasionally, a witness may break into tears, or a defendant act out, but it is by no means a regular occurrence. Most lawyers teach their clients to understand that doing anything other than keeping their emotions in check will not work in their favor.
If you have been arrested and need legal counsel in Indiana, call the qualified criminal defense lawyers of Razumich & Associates. We are ready to aggressively investigate the facts surrounding your case and fight for you. Contact us today.