Should I Testify at My Trial?
If you are the defendant in a criminal case, you have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself or be subject to having to testify at your trial. Many defense lawyers advise their clients not to ever testify at trial. However, if you are prepared properly, it may be in your best interest to testify and defend yourself.
Factors to Consider
The problem that most defendants run into when considering whether or not to testify is that they are concerned that their prior convictions (and even arrests) could be brought up before the jury. While that is always a concern, a good defense attorney can often limit the prosecution from bringing up prior convictions by filing a “Motion In Limine.” If the motion is granted, it forbids the prosecution from discussing certain topics or even using certain words.
The Benefits of Testifying
It often helps a jury relate to a defendant and his circumstances if they do testify. No one can more accurately describe your life, your goals, and the circumstances that led to your arrest than you! If you do choose to testify, then your attorney can point out very strongly in closing that you had the courage to stand up and tell your side of things. This can often be the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict.
Strategy In Your Case
Consult an effective criminal attorney before you decide whether to testify at your trial or not. Call us at The Turner Firm today and we can help with your trial strategy.