Can My Family Member Testify On My Behalf?

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If you’re in criminal court, can you use a family member as a witness to testify on your behalf? Will the judge frown upon this?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

A criminal defendant is allowed to present evidence of his or her good character during a criminal trial. However, a prosecutor can generally not bring up evidence of a defendant’s bad character unless the defendant has already presented character evidence. This means that if you bring up evidence of your reputation for honesty (or another good character trait), the prosecution can then bring up evidence of your reputation for dishonesty (or another bad character trait). Character evidence is only admissible if it is in the form of defendant’s reputation or is a witness’s opinion of the defendant. A criminal defense attorney can advise the defendant on whether presenting character evidence makes sense under the circumstances.



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Author: House Attorney