Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is it better to take the stand in criminal cases in your own defence or not?

Most defense lawyers would probably say that it is always best for the defendant NOT to take the stand. Some reasons for this would be the fact that once you're on the stand, the prosecutor can ask you flat out whether you did it or not, and you are legally bound to tell the truth, which, if you're guilty, would amount to a confession and would certainly get you convicted. Additionally, if the lawyer knows you're guilty he can't advise you to lie, so he MUST keep you off the stand. If he lets you go on the stand he's letting you incriminate yourself, which no good defense lawyer could do.

Besides this, you might inadvertently say something on the stand that opens up a line of questioning you'd rather keep closed, or you might be asked to testify about other things you've done that you'd rather the jury didn't hear about.

So those are a few of the reasons a good lawyer will try to keep most defendants off the stand.

HOWEVER.........Speaking as just a regular person and NOT a lawyer, I'd say it would be better to take the stand. The jury is comprised of regular people, and no matter how many times the judge tells them to ignore whether or not you took the stand, the first thing in their minds is always going to be ';If I were charged with X, I'd sure take the stand, so he must be guilty.'; There are no two ways about it......not taking the stand ALWAYS makes the defendant look guilty, even if he's just following his lawyer's advice.

So I'd say, follow your lawyer's advice, but if it were me, I'd take the stand.Is it better to take the stand in criminal cases in your own defence or not?
Defense is best made when presented in court so that the jury or justice will know the credibility of the person.Is it better to take the stand in criminal cases in your own defence or not?
If you are innocent, then take the stand.

If you are guilty (OJ) just sit back and let your lawyers try to get you off the hook
Not likely unless you have allot of legal education,

Judges prefer legally educated people do the talking.
Have you ever heard the saying ';the man who acts in his own defense has a fool for a lawyer?';

If you act in your own defense, you obviously already believe all of your points, and thus you might just assume that the jury or judge might also just accept your points right away. That is why it is better to have an impartial defender, they don't already take all of your points to be true.
There is a wise saying that goes something like this: ';He who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.';

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