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Holland & Usry, P.A.

Why You Might Not Testify In Your Defense

Here's a question we get often. "Will I testify in my criminal trial?" The honest answer is maybe. Remember, in a criminal trial you don't have to prove your innocence. It's quite the opposite. The government must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You don't have to offer a shred of evidence or a word of testimony and the judge will order the jury they can't consider that in their deliberations. That's right. They're supposed to not even think about it. If your testimony makes it more likely for you to be convicted we're telling you not to take the stand and there even good reasons to not testify if you're innocent and we cover those reasons in an article answering this question on our website.

Maybe the real question is "when do you testify?" You do testify when you and only you can supply the rest of the story in a way no other witness or other piece of evidence can. Like in a lot of self-defense cases where you've got to establish you had no choice but to defend yourself against a threat that was very real to you.

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of our clients like the prospect testify and for us the antidote to that is proper preparation. We talk about the techniques we use to help you testified the best you can in that same article that I just mentioned.

In the end it's about protecting you and that's what our decision, our joint decision as we work together as a team is based on we when decide whether you'll testify. If your testimony is not necessary you won't take the stand. If it is, you'll be ready. I thank you for thinking about this with me.