Put Prosecution Experience On Your Side

How depositions can help build your criminal defense

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

When you’re charged with a criminal offense it can feel like your back is against the wall. As the prosecution ramps up the pressure, you might find yourself tempted to take a plea deal. But you shouldn’t be so quick to jump the gun, as taking a plea deal out of the gate could cause you to miss key criminal defense opportunities and subject you to otherwise avoidable penalties. So, before you make any decisions on your case, you need to figure out what the prosecution intends to present against you and how you can combat it.

The best way to do this is to engage in the discovery process. Here, you use various legal tools to obtain information possessed by the prosecution, thereby giving insight into how they intend to present their case. One powerful vehicle that you can use during the discovery process is the deposition.

What is a deposition?

A deposition is a formal process in which testimony, sworn to by the witness being deposed, is taken outside of court and well before trial. Therefore, you can depose the prosecution’s witnesses to find out what they know and how they intend to testify.

Depositions can play a key role in building your criminal defense. Here’s why:

  • You can learn new information: During a deposition, you have free reign to ask questions of a witness, even those that otherwise may be objectionable. This raises opportunities to learn information that you might not have known. If that happens, then you can continue your investigation into the alleged crime, which could open doors to new defense arguments.
  • You can pin witnesses to their testimony: Since depositional testimony is sworn to under penalties of perjury, you can hold a witness to the statements that they make. So, if their story changes over time or they testify in a contradictory fashion at trial, then you can point out the inconsistencies to raise doubt as to the witness’s reliability. This can help dampen what otherwise could be powerful evidence against you.
  • You can obtain spontaneous statements: During the discovery process, you can send written questions to be answered by witnesses, but this allows them time to reflect on how to frame their answers. Oral depositions, though, can elicit true yet spontaneous statements that can be very beneficial to your criminal defense, making this discovery tool even more powerful.
  • You can gauge witness demeanor: Remember, testimony isn’t all about what’s said. It’s also about how it’s said and how the witness acts when testifying. If you conduct a deposition and find that a witness is uncomfortable when answering certain questions, then that’s a clue that you can use to further explore the issue questioned about with them and other witnesses.

Leave nothing to chance in your criminal case

The outcome of your criminal case can have a profound impact on your future. If you’re not careful, diligent, and aggressive, then you could find yourself facing jail or prison time, ruinous fines, and damage to your reputation, career, and family life. That’s simply too much to leave to chance.

That’s why building a thorough criminal defense is your best chance of shielding yourself from these harsh penalties. Creating an aggressive defense is going to take time and effort, though, which is why now is the time to get to work. Don’t be daunted, regardless of how stressful the process may seem, as there are ways to find support as you navigate this tough time in your life.