Although the prosecution may have physical evidence linking you to the crime in question, chances are that much of their case is going to hinge on witness testimony. After all, before most evidence can be submitted to the court, the prosecution must use a witness to sponsor that evidence and testify.
While the number of witnesses that the prosecution has lined up against you can be intimidating, you shouldn’t let it slip you into dejectedness. Depending on the facts of your case, there may be effective ways for you to counter this testimony, minimize its impact on your case, or block it altogether.
How to get a handle on witness testimony in your criminal case
The way that you approach the prosecution’s witnesses in your case is going to depend on the circumstances. However, there are some broad strategies that you might want to think about deploying in your case to minimize the impact of the prosecution’s witnesses. Here are some of them:
- Impeachment: Impeachment is the process through which you undermine or otherwise discredit a witness’s testimony. There are several ways to do this. One often utilized tactic is to point out prior inconsistent statements that draw the trial testimony into question. You can also highlight a witness’s bias and motivation to testify against you to demonstrate that the witness’s testimony can’t be trusted.
- Use leading questions: Your attorney will have the ability to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. While there are several effective cross-examination strategies, one common tactic is to use leading questions that suggest the answer to the witness. In many instances, this is a successful way to get the witness to agree with you or portray them as avoidant, which won’t sit well with the jury.
- Block the testimony: In some instances, you might be able to block witness testimony altogether. One way you can do this is by subpoenaing the prosecution’s witnesses to a deposition. If they don’t appear, then you can argue that allowing their testimony at trial is unfair. You can also file a motion in limine to block testimony if it’s going to be unfairly prejudicial.
- Counter with your own witness testimony: Even if witness testimony presented by the prosecution is damaging to your case, you might be able to minimize it or completely refute it by presenting your own witnesses’ testimony. In preparing your witnesses for trial, though, you’ll need to anticipate how the prosecution’s witnesses will testify so that you can develop your witnesses’ testimony accordingly. Depositions can be extraordinarily helpful here, but so too can a complete review of the evidence.
There may be other ways to get a handle on the prosecution’s witness testimony, which is why you’ll want to take a comprehensive approach to your case so that you’re capturing every opportunity available to you. But don’t forget that there are a lot of other aspects to your case that you’ll need to address. If you don’t properly deal with them, then you could be setting yourself up for conviction.
Exploit the criminal defense strategies that are best for you
Developing your criminal defense strategy is going to take time and legal knowledge. That’s why now is the best time to start building your case. By being thorough and aggressive, you can increase your chances of obtaining the results that you want. Hopefully then you can avoid the harsh penalties being threatened against you and reclaim your future.