What Happens If a Defendant Declines to Be a Witness In His Own Behalf ?
In Dabney v. State, 119 Fla. 341, 161 So. 380 (Fla. 1935), the Court stated:
The settled rule is that if a defendant declines to become a witness in his own behalf, then the prosecuting attorney shall not comment on such course being taken by the defendant.
In other words, the failure of the defendant to testify cannot be taken or considered as any admission against his interest; but, if a defendant voluntarily takes the stand and testifies as a witness in his own behalf, then he becomes subject to cross-examination as any other witness, and the prosecuting officer has the right to comment on his testimony, his manner and demeanor on the stand, the reasonableness or unreasonableness of his statements, and on the discrepancies which may appear in his testimony to the same extent as would be proper with reference to testimony of any other witness. Id. at 381.