Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Things You Should Not Say In A Criminal Court


As a criminal defendant, you can choose to testify or not to testify in your trial. Allowing criminal defendants to testify in court during their trial is crucial as it ensures just and accurate verdicts. However, most criminal defendants choose not to testify in court.

If you choose to testify in your criminal trial, there are certain things you need to avoid saying that can affect the outcome of your case. You need to watch what you say when testifying in your criminal trial. While you do not have to answer police questions, you have to answer a judge, but there are certain things you want to avoid saying to a judge. Below, we share some of the things you need to avoid saying to a criminal judge that can impact the outcome of your case.

Disclaimer: The following is meant for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney.

“I Did It”

A judge may ignore confessions from you, but other people in the courthouse working against your interests may not. So you should avoid confessing that you committed the crime during your trial. The Constitution of America gives you the right not to incriminate yourself in court. So if you want to confess that you committed a crime, confess it to your criminal defense attorney.

Statements That Cannot Be Corrected

Unless you are sure, you should avoid saying things like, “Nothing else happened,” or “That is all that was said.” Instead of making such statements, you can say things like, “That is all I remember happening” or “That is all I remember hearing.” If you say something like, “That is all I remember happening,” you can amend your statement if you remember more details.

Voluntary Statements

It is vital that you only answer the questions you are asked. It is in your best interests to avoid volunteering information. For example, it is best that you avoid giving your opinions or conclusions. Also, you should avoid telling the court things that other people told you unless you are asked to share such information.

“I Was Not Told”

For example, you should not tell the judge that you were not told to bring a particular document with you to court. Instead of giving excuses and blaming others, you should apologize. It is your duty to find out what you should bring to your court trial. That is why it is best that you work with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can ensure you are well-prepared for your criminal trial.


One of the worst mistakes you can make in court is lying to a judge. Lying in court will not only adversely affect the outcome of your criminal case. It will also likely lead to additional criminal charges. If you lie under oath, you may be charged with perjury. If the judge asks you a question that you don’t feel like answering, speak to your defense attorney instead of lying.

Contact an NYC Criminal Attorney

Are you facing criminal charges in New York and need a criminal defense attorney to help you fight your charges? Contact our qualified and dedicated NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, at 212-732-0002.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
The New York Criminal Bar Association
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2017
Avvo Reviews Mark L. Cohen


"... Mr. Cohen's effort... in everything he has done before the Court, is A-Plus... [R]ecently, in another case... [before me], the result he achieved for his client... was quite impressive." Honorable Kenneth M. Karas, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"So I have very sophisticated counsel here and, Mr. Cohen, [your client] is very fortunate in having you as his attorney, and I hope he appreciates that." – Quote from the Honorable Denise L. Cote, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.


"As Mark Cohen, a defense lawyer who has tried cases throughout the city and was a prosecutor in the Bronx, pointed out, there is a saying among defense lawyers in New York." – As provided in the New York Times City Room Blog.

Have an emergency? Call now
Translate »