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Can I testify in my own defense at trial?

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every criminal defendant in a criminal proceeding the right not to testify. Additionally, if a defendant chooses not to testify, jurors will be told that they cannot infer guilt by the defendant’s choice to exercise his or her right to remain silent. A criminal defendant can testify if they choose to do so subject to certain ethical considerations. A skilled criminal defense attorney will advise the defendant of the pros and cons of testifying on his or her own behalf, but the choice is ultimately the defendant’s to make.