When you face criminal charges, you can often settle the issue by accepting a plea bargain. If you choose not to accept the agreement, you will go through a trial to resolve the matter. One question many defendants have when facing their criminal trials is whether to take the stand or not. Should you testify in court for your case? You should ask a criminal lawyer for advice before you decide, and here are several things to know about this decision.
You Must Take an Oath
If you testify in court, you must take an oath before you take the stand. This oath requires that you tell the entire truth. If you lie while you are under oath, you could face serious consequences. Lying under oath is a crime of perjury, and this is a serious criminal offense.
Pleading the Fifth Amendment May Look Bad
If you take the stand and do not want to answer the prosecutor's questions, you have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment. This right allows you not to answer questions, but there is a problem with using this right. If you use it, it may make you look guilty. After all, why would you not want to answer questions relating to your case? If you do not want to answer them, you might appear guilty.
The Prosecutor May Try to Trick You
When you take the stand, your lawyer will ask you questions. After that, the prosecution will ask you questions. When this occurs, the prosecutor may try to trick you while you are on the stand. The prosecutor may also dig up dirt on you and present it during this time. As a result, the judge and jury may draw conclusions about you based on the information the prosecutor uses. You might end up losing your case due to the effects of taking the stand in your trial.
Most Lawyers Recommend Against It
While there are times when lawyers might suggest testifying in court, most lawyers recommend against it. In most situations, no good comes from a defendant testifying in court. You should always ask a lawyer before you decide, though. If you have not hired one, you should find one today. You need representation when facing criminal charges, especially if you choose to go to trial. Hire a lawyer who is experienced in criminal law today to start working on your case.