In the United States, when you are charged with a criminal offense you have the right to remain silent, and not to become a witness against yourself. Your right to remain silent and protect yourself from self incrimination continues throughout the Court proceedings, including at trial. No one can call you to the witness stand except yourself. However, if you take the witness stand, you can be questioned by the prosecutor, putting yourself at risk by way of self incrimination, and they can ask you any question relevant to the charges filed against you for which you must answer under oath. Before you make the decision on whether to give up your right to remain silent, discuss the issue and the potential benefit to your defense strategy with your criminal defense lawyer. Witness preparation, learning how to answer questions asked during direct and cross-examination is critical to you being able to assist in your defense if you actually decide to testify.
Should you have questions on how to proceed with a charge against you, I will confer with you by phone free of charge to see if I can be of further assistance to you. Should you have an urge or willingness, or are (worse) being coerced to talk to the police or prosecution without counsel you tread in dangerous waters. Be advised that you risk self incrimination and what you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102