Can You Refuse to Testify in a Domestic Battery Case Against You?

If the state of Illinois has accused you of domestic battery, will you have to get on the stand and defend yourself? This guide explains.

Can You Refuse to Testify in a Domestic Battery Case Against You?

You don’t have to testify in your own domestic battery case. The U.S. Constitution says, under the Fifth Amendment, that you don’t have to give testimony if that testimony could incriminate you. In plain English, that means the state can’t force you to get on the stand and say things that could convince a judge or jury that you’re actually guilty of a crime.

With that said, you always have the option of testifying on your own behalf in court. But before you decide whether to take the stand, you should talk to your attorney – testifying may not be a good idea.

Related: Can you get a government job if you have a domestic battery conviction on your record?

Won’t the Judge Think I’m Guilty if I Refuse to Take the Stand?

First things first: Plenty of innocent people decide not to take the stand in court. That’s because the things you say under oath can backfire on you – even if you’re completely innocent. If your attorney doesn’t feel like you testifying will actively help your case, you shouldn’t do it.

How Will the Court Hear My Side of the Story if I Don’t Testify?

One of the main reasons people work with a domestic battery defense attorney is so that the attorney can tell their side of the story in court. For many people, especially those who don’t have experience appearing in court, the prospect of facing a judge and jury is pretty extreme. Many people find that it’s best to have an experienced professional representing them every step of the way.

Your attorney will be able to tell your side of the story in court – you don’t have to worry that the judge won’t hear the truth. Your lawyer will defend you using a strategy designed to get you the best possible outcome.

Related: Can employers see domestic battery convictions on background checks?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense?

If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.

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