Should the Defendant Testify?
Both your Pennsylvania DUI lawyer and the district attorney will call witnesses in your trial. In fact, your Pennsylvania DUI attorney may decide to have you take the stand and testify in your defense. Whether to have you testify will be a challenging question for your Pennsylvania DUI lawyer, and the best option depends on the specific facts of your driving under the influence case.
Your testimony in your Pennsylvania DUI trial can be highly beneficial in some situations. There is no one better suited than you to explain an illness such as chronic acid reflux, emphysema, or diabetes that affected the outcome of your chemical test. Your testimony may go a long way toward explaining a chemical test refusal or help jurors understand how your blood alcohol content (BAC) was inflated.
Jurors are instructed that they can't view the fact that you didn't take the stand as a sign of guilt. However, sometimes jurors cannot overlook their personal feelings. Some might assume that you must be guilty because you didn't testify on your own behalf. An experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney will weigh the risk of having you testify against this possibility.
Just as there may be compelling reasons to put you on the stand in your Pennsylvania DUI trial, there may also be excellent reasons to keep you from testifying. One of the most pressing reasons to avoid having you take the stand is that doing so exposes you to cross-examination by the district attorney.
You may be emotional, nervous, or might say things that will significantly damage your defense.
You may be unable to remember details of your interaction with the arresting officer or your Pennsylvania DUI arrest. A jury may believe that you can't remember because of the alleged intoxication. If that's the case, it's crucial to avoid having you take the witness stand. Your testimony could possibly wipe out any gains made in your Pennsylvania DUI defense.
A skilled Pennsylvania DUI attorney from Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. will weigh all of the factors involved to determine whether it's advisable to have you take the stand in your driving under the influence case. If your Pennsylvania DUI lawyer decides to have you testify, you'll be fully prepared to answer the district attorney's questions. Please contact us today for a free consultation.