The Defendant Is Not Required To Testify in a Criminal Trial

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Criminal Law

In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden to prove all of the elements of the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the prosecution is not allowed to use the testimony of the defendant to meet its burden. Moreover, the jury cannot draw any inferences based on whether or not the defendant has chosen to testify. Thus, the decision to testify is a critical consideration in preparing for trial, and a criminal trial may not be the time to tell “your side” of the story. If you are facing criminal charges, it is imperative that you know all of your rights, and your legal counsel can advise you when making the important decision of whether or not to testify at trial.