Testimony IS Evidence

Happy Friday, everybody. Hope you had a great week. Here’s one that comes up from time to time, and I hear this occasionally when I’m meeting with a client for the first time or I’m meeting with a family member for the first time, and that’s if somebody is accused of assault. Typically, this comes up in the assault family violence realm, where there’s really no witnesses to the assault. It’s just one party’s word against the other’s. There is this tendency to believe that, “Well, I don’t really need a lawyer because they don’t have any evidence. They just have his or her story.” That is something that I work very hard to dispel. A lot of my lawyer followers will already understand this, but it’s something that I need to explain to the non-lawyers out there. And I totally get why, because there’s this idea, the way we use evidence in kind of everyday society in the normal nomenclature is when we think evidence, we think hard, physical things, fingerprints, DNA, shoe prints, whatever, but actually in the criminal world, testimony itself is evidence.

In a lot of instances, in many instances, the state only needs that testimonial evidence to be able to convict you. If a jury were to listen to the witness’s story or the victim’s story, believe it, absent anything else, and issue a verdict of guilty. That would be a valid verdict. Many times when people come in and sit down with me and they say, “This person has no evidence of what they’re saying,” I have to kind of break them of that mindset and let them know that the testimony itself, the story that they have itself is actually evidence. I’m not saying we have to agree with that evidence or that evidence is true or whatever, but it is evidence. Having this idea that, “Well, I don’t need a lawyer because there’s no evidence of that,” is a very dangerous mindset to get in.

If you or anybody that you know is going through something like this, or is accused of something and you think, “Well, there’s no evidence. Therefore, I don’t need a lawyer because obviously this case is going to get dropped.” Consult with a lawyer anyway, because I’m telling you right now that in many, many times, all they need is that story. All they need is that testimony. If there’s no way that you can rebut it or prove that that’s incorrect, and I say, prove, please don’t think I’m meaning that in a legal sense, because it’s never the defendant’s burden to prove anything. That’s a whole ‘nother video, but if there’s not some way that you can rebut that testimonial evidence, then you’re in a world of trouble. Remember, testimony is evidence. Statements are evidence, and so they are evidence that you have to deal with and that you have to neutralize if you’re going to be successful.

If you’re curious about how I typically go about doing that, or what strategies have worked for me in the past, please feel free to reach out, drop me a line, a comment, an email. I’m happy to answer those as best that I can. Also, let me know what topics you guys want to see me cover on some videos coming up. I’m always interested to hear what it is you want to hear me answer, because I’m happy to answer any questions or topics that you think are interesting or important. Everybody out there, I hope you have a great weekend. Stay safe. It’s warming up, so enjoy the outdoors. Should have some great weather, and I look forward to talking to you guys again next week.

Author Bio

James P. Whalen

James P. Whalen is the managing attorney and founder of Whalen Law Office, a Texas criminal defense firm offering personalized legal representation for various federal criminal charges. With a commitment to providing comfort and guidance during challenging times, Mr. Whalen serves as both an attorney and counselor to his clients, helping them navigate their cases while striving to restore normalcy to their lives.

In an inherently unbalanced criminal justice system, Mr. Whalen takes on cases with unwavering dedication. With decades of legal experience, he offers representation across various criminal charges, including white-collar crimes, violent crimes, drug charges, and more. Mr. Whalen’s numerous accolades, including Super Lawyer recognition and board certification in Criminal Appellate Law and Criminal Law, reflect his unwavering commitment to ethical and high-quality legal representation.

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