When you are accused of a serious crime, it is difficult to know how you should react, both when you are taken in for questioning and when you are in the courtroom. Of cause, you should make sure that you only take the advice of legal professionals who are there to advise you on your specific case. You may be wondering if you should express remorse for what happened and whether it will play to your advantage.
The problem with openly showing remorse is that it can be interpreted by prosecutors as admitting to the crime. Therefore, if you are trying to completely deny being involved in the crime yet feel bad for the victims of the crime, you could be inadvertently admitting your guilt. The following are some things to consider on the topic of showing remorse in a criminal law case.
Being emotionless could be interpreted negatively
One strategy defendants take is to be completely emotionless during the trial. While this succeeds in giving nothing away, the jury can construe this as a lack of remorse. It may also be interpreted as being cold and having a lack of empathy.
Showing remorse could affect your ability to appeal
If you are found guilty and then decide to express remorse at sentencing in the hope that you will be given a shorter sentence, this could affect your ability to appeal at a later date.
If you plead guilty, showing remorse could lead to a lighter sentence
If you were caught in the act and there is no way to really show your innocence, showing your emotions, and expressing remorse could be the best strategy. By demonstrating that you are truly sorry for what you have done, you could reassure the jury that as a first-time offender you will not repeat your mistakes.
If you have been accused of a crime and you are not sure how to respond to the accusations, it is important that you look into your defense options.