A common question we receive from clients preparing for court is what they
have to say when the prosecutor asks the questions. The good news for
many is that the prosecutor is not allowed to call them as a witness.
All criminal defendants in South Carolina have an absolute right to remain
silent. No prosecutor, judge or police officer can ever require them to
testify or make any statements.
While the prosecutor is not allowed to call you as a witness, you also
enjoy an absolute right to testify if you so choose. If you do testify,
which means that you or your lawyer calls you as a witness, then the prosecutor
does have a right to ask you follow-up questions called cross-examination.
In addition to facing cross-examination, if you choose to testify the
prosecutor may also be allowed to bring up certain prior criminal charges
that you have. Depending on your prior record this can be a non-issue
or a very significant concern.
Whether or not you choose to testify during your trial is an important
decision that you should only make after having a chance to hear all of
the witnesses that the prosecution has called in their side of the case.
Your lawyer can help advise you as to the pros and cons of your testifying,
but ultimately it is your decision.
Contact our lawyers today 888-301-6004.