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

Columbia, SC |
Filed under: Litigation

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

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

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. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.

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Asker

Posted

Thanks for that confirmation it was very helpful but do u know any case law that governs that question?

Constantine D. Buzunis

Constantine D. Buzunis

Posted

why do you need a case, the court will not refuse you calling a relevent witness on your behalf whether you testify or not. If this is a criminal case and you are represented, you need to be talking to your lawyer about this, not AVVO lawyers. if you don't have or can't afford a lawyer, ask the court to appoint a public defender.

Asker

Posted

We can't afford an attorney so Im working it pro se and Im n da process of filing a federal habeas corpus so i need controlling case law

Constantine D. Buzunis

Constantine D. Buzunis

Posted

get a public defender for free

Posted

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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Posted

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 you may not think to include in your questions on this forum. I am not your attorney, and in answering your question you must understand that I cannot and do not give you legal advice upon which you are entitled to rely. At best, I hope that my answer, and others you find here, will give you a basis for better understanding of the issues you face so that you can provide complete information to a lawyer that you retain to give you advice and representation on which you can confidently rely.

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