A lot of criminal cases are built on nothing more than the testimony of key witnesses. Alleged accomplices, police officers, and experts can all sway a jury into convicting a defendant. That’s why you have to try to minimize the weight that the jury gives to the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses.
Attacking witness credibility
One way to minimize or eliminate the harm caused by these witnesses is to attack their credibility. There are a few ways you can do this. One way is to point out inconsistencies in their testimony. Conducting depositions, which is the process of taking sworn testimony outside of court and prior to trial, can help you set the stage for identifying these inconsistencies.
Another option is to point out biases. Whether an alleged accomplice has a motive to provide damaging testimony or a police officer has a history of discrimination, you need to be able to point out biases so that a jury gives less credence to their testimony.
Addressing previous criminal history can be helpful, too. This is especially true if the offense in question involves a crime of dishonesty, like forgery or fraud. Be prepared with criminal records to point out that these witnesses can’t be trusted to tell the truth.
Preparation is key
A lot of people think that successful litigation is founded on moments of surprise or where an attorney is quick on his feet. The truth of the matter, though, is that these moments rarely happen. Instead, litigators who excel are those who have put in the work on the front end to know the law and the facts at hand. This holds true with respect to issues involving witness credibility, too. So, if you’re facing legal trouble and want an aggressive defense that will fight to protect your interests, then you might want to consider speaking with an attorney with a track record of success and who is able to adequately prepare your case.