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How Do I Prepare For Cross-Examination In A New York Drug Trafficking Case?


Drug trafficking defendants in New York may need to testify during their own trials. Although this is a somewhat risky move from a criminal defense perspective, it can certainly provide its fair share of advantages. If you are heading toward a drug trafficking trial and you expect to take the stand, it’s important to prepare for cross-examination. What is cross-examination, and how should you prepare?

What Is Cross-Examination? 

Cross-examination occurs after you provide your testimony. During the initial phase of your testimony, you may be guided by your own defense lawyer. They may ask questions that help highlight your side of the story – and your innocence. After you finish, you may need to stay on the stand and answer a new set of questions from the prosecution. This new set of questions is what people in the legal community refer to as “cross-examination.” Unlike your defense attorney, the prosecution will not ask questions that help highlight your innocence. Instead, they will ask questions that cast doubt upon your previous testimony – and they will attempt to establish your guilt.

Should I Take the Stand in My Own Drug Trafficking Case? 

Taking the stand is risky because it exposes you to cross-examination. The prosecution can ask a wide range of questions during cross-examination, and you never know what subjects they will raise. This uncontrolled scenario can have drastic consequences if you’re not careful. For some defendants, however, this may be a risk worth taking. For example, you might be a very likable character who resonates well with the jury. Having the chance to tell your side of the story may help the jury get a sense of your charismatic and relatable personality. Ultimately, your defense attorney will help you determine whether taking the stand is the right call.

How Can I Prepare for Cross-Examination in New York? 

Your lawyers can help you prepare for cross-examination. They can do this by playing the role of the prosecutor and asking questions that may come up during cross-examination. These “practice runs” can help you practice your responses and face a real trial with greater confidence. Your lawyer may also teach you about the basics of trial testimony. For example, they might teach you that certain testimony – such as hearsay – is inadmissible.

They might help you practice basic court etiquette, such as waiting until the prosecutor finishes talking before answering. Although cross-examination can be highly stressful and emotional, it is important to “keep your cool” throughout the process. 

Connect with a Rockland County Defense Lawyer 

Work with a criminal defense lawyer to prepare for your upcoming trial. Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law can help you prepare for cross-examination in an effective manner. Reach out today to learn whether taking the stand is even necessary, and assess various potential defense strategies.




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Phillip J. Murphy,
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Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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