Are you facing criminal charges and find yourself concerned about how other people might testify about you? This is a common worry of those who have been accused of a crime, and for good reason. After all, prosecutors build many of their cases solely on the testimony of others. However, you don’t have to just sit back and let harmful testimony run you over. Instead, through thorough preparation you might be able to attack witness credibility and diminish the impact of their testimony.
How to attack witness credibility
There are several ways you can go about attacking witness credibility. First, you can depose a witness prior to trial, which is the process whereby sworn testimony is given outside of court. This process locks in the witness’s testimony and gives you the opportunity to point out inconsistencies if their story changes at trial.
Another option is to fully research potential witnesses to determine if they have any biases or motivations to testify in a certain way. Another individual who is charged in the case, for example, might be offered a plea deal in exchange for testimony against you. This can serve as a basis to attack the credibility of the witness and his testimony. The same could hold true for a police officer that has a history of discrimination.
A witness’s credibility might also be drawn into question if he has a criminal history demonstrating a lack of truthfulness. Criminal convictions for fraud, forgery, and impersonation could help you here.
Don’t overlook your own witnesses
While you’ll want to be prepared to attack witness credibility as part of your criminal defense, you’ll also want to know how to protect the credibility of your witnesses. If you don’t know how to do that, then the prosecution might be able to attack your witnesses in unacceptable ways that can have a profound impact on the jury.
So, you need to take care when developing your criminal defense strategy. For assistance with this and maximizing your chances of achieving a favorable outcome, consider sitting down with your criminal defense attorney.