Although the prosecution may present physical evidence against you in your case, they’re probably going to heavily rely on witness testimony to try to obtain a conviction. Since the trier of fact, either the judge or jury, will be tasked with assigning that testimony with the appropriate amount of weight, you have to ensure that you’re appropriately addressing witness credibility lest faulty accounts lead to your conviction.
How do you attack witness credibility?
When it comes to attacking witness credibility, there are a lot of strategies that you can utilize. Here are some that may be available to you:
- Point out any biases that the witness has against you, such as if the witness holds a grudge against you for breaking up with his or her friend or child or if a police officer has a history of disciplinary history tied to what appears to be discrimination.
- Highlight any motivations that the witness may have to testify a certain way, like when an alleged co-accomplice agrees to testify against you in exchange for a plea deal.
- Demonstrate that the witness has a poor character for truthfulness, evidenced by criminal convictions for crimes such as fraud or forgery.
- Show that the witness has been inconsistent in his or her statements, which is usually best accomplished by using depositional testimony to point out contradictions that are made at trial.
Keep in mind that there may be other options available to you, so make sure you discuss how best to approach witness testimony with your attorney.
Crafting the compelling criminal defense that you need on your side
To best avoid conviction, you have to have a thorough and convincing criminal defense argument. This means that you must leave no stone unturned when analyzing your case and crafting your arguments. An attorney who has proven himself or herself successful in this regard may be the best ally you could ask for in your case.