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Is Character Evidence Admissible in Criminal Trials?

In Nevada criminal trials, defendants can present proof of their good character but they create the opportunity for the prosecution to rebut that good character evidence with bad character evidence when presenting character evidence about themselves. 



Character Evidence of Defendants:

 Once they proffer evidence of good character, they “open the door” to prosecution’s rebuttal of the defendant’s good character by producing evidence of the defendant's bad character. Prosecutors are not generally allowed to introduce character evidence unless the defendant “opens the door” to it first.


Defendants who plead insanity automatically open themselves up to character evidence from the prosecution; when defendants  claim that police entrapped them, meaning police lured the defendant into committing a crime when they had no prior intention of doing so, the prosecution can then introduce proof of the defendants intention to commit the crime.


Defendants can choose not to take the witness stand in their own defense because it insulates them from cross-examinations that could potentially be harmful to their case & character in the eyes of the jury. 


Prosecutors are very skilled at finding damaging character evidence against defendants. It is usually best to stay off of the witness stand as a defendant but each case is different and you should consult an attorney for help in making the right choice for your case. If you’re facing criminal charges, contact Sgro & Roger today at 702.384.9800 to receive the expert defense your case deserves.