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Robert Durst, the New York real estate beneficiary is going to, in a rare twist of events, actually testify in his own criminal murder case in a Los Angeles County Court. Robert Durst will become a critical component of his own defense strategy. Many murder trials avoid having the defendant testify, yet Durst’s team has suggested they want him to speak before the court.

While having a defendant being charged with murder testify as a part of their own defense strategy is extremely risky, it has been successful for some defendants. This is specifically true with respect to Durst’s questionable past. Durst isn’t just going on the stand to defend himself for one murder, he has done this before. The real estate heir was previously charged with killing his neighbor in the early 2000s. Even though Durst did say that he dismembered the man and threw his body parts away, Rober Durst was still found not guilty of murder.

Whether it is the decision to testify as a defendant or to stay quiet, a qualified and skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will be best positioned to determine the right strategy for success. Rober Durst’s attorneys made the bet before and it worked out. Potentially, they believe that the same circumstances make sense for his current murder trial. Only time will tell, but what Durst knows is what many criminal defendants must understand. This is that the quality of your legal defense is what sits between your freedoms and liberties and your incarceration. 

Why Would Your Attorney Keep You From Testifying in Your California Criminal Case?

Typically, if you declare you are not guilty of doing something you are accused of, you shouldn’t go around yelling about how innocent you are. Most of the time in criminal trials, criminal defense attorneys will keep their clients from testifying in court. Defendants are not legally required to testify so if there is no reason for this to happen it doesn’t have to. There are no real grounds for a person to get on a stand and potentially harm their case if they do not have to be there in the first place.

Some situations warrant a defendant to testify. This would be when there is the case of a reasonable, emotional, and bond-worthy story that a defendant has to tell which could make their case to the jury. Even still, a moving defendant can face serious risks when it comes to the outcome of their case.

Because the burden of proof to find guilt is on the prosecution, once the person accused of a crime goes on the stand, now they are taking some heat off of the prosecution. Even if the story a defendant is giving is truthful, if a jury cannot connect with the defendant or doesn’t like them, then it is highly likely a guilty verdict will result. 

In the absence of a defendant testifying, it is all upon their attorney to deconstruct the prosecution’s case. When this happens no personal feelings of a juror to the defendant will be present. When a defendant has a competent defense, breaking down the prosecution’s case without having a defendant testify, is much more viable and more likely to result in a favorable outcome.

Speak with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The Manshoory Law Group is strictly focused on only working on criminal defense cases in Los Angeles. The skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group know how to handle tough and aggressive prosecution against you if you have been charged with a crime. To schedule a free consultation with the Manshoory Law Group to discuss your Los Angeles criminal charges, please call (877) 977-7750.

Shaheen Manshoory
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