If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, then you need to be prepared to fight back against aggressive prosecutors who want to put you behind bars. Depending on the facts of your case, there are probably a number of criminal defense strategies that you can deploy to try to effectively do this. However, regardless of the charges that you’re facing, there are some universal steps that you should take to ensure that you’re building the strongest case you can. One of those steps is to conduct depositions.
What are depositions?
A deposition is the taking of sworn testimony outside of court and before trial. The process is similar to court testimony, in that the witness is sworn in, each side as the opportunity to ask questions, and it’s all recorded. The process may seem less formal, but make no mistake about it. The process is quite formal, indeed.
Why you need to conduct strong depositions
Depositions serve many purposes. To start, they can help you learn what information the prosecution’s witnesses know. This allows you to further investigate the facts of your case so that you can build the best criminal defense under the circumstances.
Depositions also allow you to lock in witness testimony. Therefore, if one of the prosecution’s witnesses testifies one way during the deposition, but then changes his or her story during court testimony, then you can use that depositional testimony to point out inconsistencies and thereby attack the witness’s credibility. This can go a long way with the jury and may cause them to disbelieve that witness’s testimony.
A deposition may also give you the opportunity to block a witness from testifying in court. This typically happens when you’ve properly subpoenaed a witness for a deposition and he or she fails to appear. At that point, allowing the witness to testify against you would be unfair, so you may be able to convince a judge to disallow that witness’s testimony from being used against you.
Build the strong criminal defense that is right for you
There are a lot of moving pieces to a criminal defense, and depositions are just one piece of your defense puzzle. But don’t get overwhelmed by the process. Instead, get prepared. An attorney who is well-versed in this area of the law can help you do just that.