If I Have A Criminal Conviction Will the Jury Be Told About It?

Bernie Tully Pittsburgh Injury Lawyer. Phone: 412-281-8700

Maybe you have some thoughts on this. These are typical questions we get on a daily basis from our clients. Last week, I got a call from a client who said, “Hey Bernie, I gotta be honest with you. I was in a car accident and needed to get surgery. But I have two criminal convictions and don’t want the other side to know about it.” He asked us the question, what can you do to help?

My answer was – you can’t hide it from the other side. They are going to find out. But the good news is not all convictions result in the jury hearing about it no matter how recent it was. For example, if it was a DUI, misdemeanor or an assault the jury won’t hear about it. The courts consider something called – crimen falsi – which means crimes involving dishonestly, burglary or theft where lying is involved. If you haven’t been convicted of anything along those lines, you are going to be in good shape.

Bottom line — you must be honest. One way or another the other side is going to find out. The worst thing that can happen is if the other side were to expose your information to a jury. At that point, you might as well say lights out to your case because you aren’t going anywhere with it.

Our main focus is honesty. We always preach it. That is what juries want to hear. They want to know this is an honest person who acknowledges they made a mistake in the past but has moved on from it. That is how you deal with prior convictions.

Bernie Tully Pittsburgh Injury Lawyer. Phone: 412-281-8700