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Tampa Criminal Lawyers: Can I testify on my own behalf?

Tampa criminal lawyers are constantly discussing with their clients whether they should testify on their own behalf.   This is one of the most important decisions made in any trial.  As I am sure you are aware, if you are reading our Tampa criminal lawyer blog, the decision as to whether to testify in your criminal case is literally one of the most important decisions one will ever make in their life.  Testifying opens a whole Pandora box of potential issues, including the potential of one’s prior criminal convictions coming into play, cross examination, etc.

Many folks accused of a crime believe they can take the stand, tell their version of the events, support their side of the case, then immediately invoke their right to remain silent under the United States Constitution and not have to answer any further questions, when questioned by the Prosecution.  Unfortunately, nothing is further than the truth.  When one decides to become a witness in their defense, they also must expose themselves to cross examination from the prosecution.  As you can imagine, nothing looks worse than a defendant refusing to answer simple questions from a prosecutor in front of a jury.  Ultimately, a jury is really only left then to speculate what someone is trying to hide and their answer would have been.  As Tampa criminal lawyers, who have tried many, many trials, we can assure you that more often than not, a jury is not going to assume something beneficial for a criminal defendant.

The decision as to whether to testify or not during a criminal trial is one that a defendant must make after close consideration of the costs and benefits of it with their Tampa criminal lawyer.  Only after close evaluation of issues, can a defendant be certain as to what the best course of action is regarding whether to testify or not.  Despite jury instructions to the contrary, many jurors simply need to hear from defendants testifying in their own defense.  At Hackworth Law, we pride ourselves on our ability to prepare our clients prior to their testimony through mock direct and cross examinations in a number of mock courtrooms around the Tampa Bay area, we can utilize.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning whether to testify in their own defense, contact the Tampa criminal lawyers of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation.  We have handled thousands of criminal cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area, involving the testimony of all sorts of witnesses.  If you would like to contact one of our Tampa criminal lawyers immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website.   We also offer the free, secure chatbox in the lower right hand corner of our website and operators standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your calls.  We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa criminal lawyer blog and look forward to hearing from you.