The Experience To Get You Through This

Should you testify in your criminal case? 

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you have one mission in mind: actively defending yourself and getting out of trouble. And part of this might involve testifying in your defense. But should you testify in your own criminal case?

The decision to testify in your criminal charge is one that you should never take lightly. You need to take a number of factors such as the nature and severity of your case into account before making the decision to take the stand. 

What the law says about testifying in your defense

If you are indicted and arraigned in court, you have the right to certain protections as provided for by the applicable laws. This includes protection from self-incrimination. And this means that neither the police nor the prosecution can compel you to make statements (both in and out of the courtroom) that can potentially hurt your case. Put in the context of testifying in your defense, you are under no obligation to take the stand. 

Taking the stand can be risky

Before deciding to testify in your trial, you need to weigh the pros and cons of your decision. Of course, this will be an opportunity to narrate your side of the story under oath. However, when the prosecution begins cross-examining you, they might ask questions that can paint you in a negative light, trip you up or make you contradict yourself. And the last thing you want is to give the judge and the jury the impression that you have something to hide. 

Safeguarding your credibility

Like most legal issues, the decision to testify in your criminal case is basically yours and your legal counsel’s to make. Find out how you can protect your legal rights and interests while facing a criminal charge. 

FindLaw Network

Serving New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Since 1992