The National Trial Lawyers

Should Defendants Always Take the Stand?

Criminal defense attorneys in Denver, CO almost never advise their clients to take the witness stand. This is because a defendant’s own felony defense attorney isn’t the only person who can ask questions. Once a defendant takes the stand, he or she is subject to cross-examination by the prosecutor. Even if the defendant made a good impression on the jury during his or her own felony attorney’s questioning, this is unlikely to occur during cross-examination. Plus, taking the stand voluntarily means that the defendant waives the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

To hear more about this issue, watch this video. It features an interview with two criminal defense attorneys who share their thoughts about having defendants take the witness stand. One of these felony attorneys asserts that defendants should never take the stand whenever it can be avoided.

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