If a defendant don't take stand can witnesses still testify on his behalf?

Asked over 1 year ago - Columbia, SC

Some was advised by an attorney if he didn't testify his witnesses couldn't either

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Constantine D. Buzunis

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . That is untrue, a defendant in a criminal case can take the 5th amendment so as to not incriminate themselves, any witnesses they have can still testify as long as their testimony is otherwise admissible.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  2. William G Blair

    Contributor Level 8

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    Answered . Of course they can. As pointed out by the previous lawyer answering this question, all testimony must be admissible (i.e., relevant, non-hearsay, based on personal knowledge or qualified expert opinion, etc.) but no party to civil or criminal litigation needs to testify as a pre-condition to calling other witnesses. That said, and depending on circumstances not apparent from your question, the defendant may be best served by taking the stand. See a local lawyer who can provide you personal representation (if you're a party to this litigation).

    "The law" is a very complex profession, and all specific legal questions will depend on a variety of facts that... more
  3. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Yes. But the testimony must be admissible. Hearsay is not admissible unless it falls w/in an exception to the hearsay objection.

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