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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23530
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am going to trial on new charges. They have nothing to do

Customer Question

I am going to trial on new charges. They have nothing to do with my past charges which I did my time. I was told it was against my constitutional rights for my past to be brought out in court. Is this true
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
It's partly true.
The prosecutor is not allowed to refer to your past convictions on his case-in-chief. HOWEVER, if after the state rests you want to take the stand and testify on your own behalf, the prosecutor can bring up your record to impeach your credibility.
How much of that record will come in will be determined by the judge. There would be a hearing outside of the presence of the jury to determine what can come in.
If you never take the stand, it never comes up. But once you give up your Constitutional right to remain silent, it's fair game.

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