To build the strongest criminal defense possible, you need to take a holistic approach. While this means identifying witnesses, knowing case law, and exploiting the rules of evidence to your advantage, it also means knowing how to competently navigate the discovery process. Discovery is the process through which you learn what information the other side has so that you can better prepare for trial, and one key component of it is the deposition.
A deposition is the giving of sworn testimony outside of court and before trial. Although a deposition may seem less formal, it actual has powerful ramifications for your case. To start, a deposition allows you to determine how a witness will testify at trial so that you can better formulate your defense strategy. Additionally, a deposition locks a witness into his or her testimony so that you can then point out any inconsistencies between his or her depositional testimony and the testimony given at trial. This is known as impeachment, and it can devastate a witness’s credibility.
Another advantage to depositions is the possibility of suppressing evidence. If you subpoena a witness to appear at a deposition and he or she fails to appear on multiple occasions, then you have the ability to ask the court to bar that witness from testifying against you. This can poke a big hole in the prosecution’s case.
Developing the robust criminal defense that you need
Remember, the discovery process, including depositions, is just one component of your criminal defense. And you need to take a holistic approach to your case if you want to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable result. Therefore, as you work through the development of your criminal defense, it’s a good idea to have any ally on your side who can help you navigate the intricacies of your case.