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Frequently Asked Questions: Criminal Law

Does an OUI defendant have to testify at trial?

As in all criminal cases, an individual charged with OUI has a federal and state Constitutional privilege against self incrimination and therefore need not testify in any trial.  The Commonwealth cannot under any circumstances refer to the operator’s failure to testify nor can any adverse inference be drawn from the operator’s failure to testify.  Any mention of this fact by the prosecution to the jury is grounds for an immediate mistrial.

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