A sound criminal defense trial strategy starts with the opening statements. This is the opportunity for the defense to clearly tell the jury what the defense theory of the case is, and why the client is NOT GUILTY of what the State says the defendant did. There are often issues that need to be highlighted that undercut the strength of the State’s case, and sometimes weaknesses that should not be mentioned in an opening that are better left for a strong finish during the closing statements. A client charged with a crime has the right to remain silent, and in an opening statement defense counsel should emphasize both that, and that it is the State’s burden to establish the evidence that proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury should be specifically reminded that the defense has no burden of either production or persuasion, and that if the State fails to prove the case beyond a ‘reasonable doubt’ that the only possible verdict is NOT GUILTY.
If you have been arrested and have not secured legal counsel, the call to me is free. We can discuss the merits of your case and and how you may wish to proceed with or without me.
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102