If you’ve been accused of a criminal offense, whether it be a DWI, drug possession or something else, you need to be prepared to protect yourself as fully as possible. If you don’t, then you mind end up being convicted, which could lead to harsh penalties being forced upon you. These penalties can be devastating to your life, threatening to strip you of your freedom, your financial stability, and your reputation in the community.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to be prepared for the fight ahead of you. This often means engaging in discovery, the process whereby the defense and the prosecution seek out information from the other side. Although requesting documents and witness lists is helpful, depositions can be an especially effective discovery tool.
There are many reasons to utilize a deposition, which is the taking of sworn testimony outside of court. To start, a deposition can help you better understand what information a witness knows. This can be particularly important when it comes to eyewitnesses and experts. Additionally, a deposition allows you to lock in a witness’s testimony. Therefore, if a witness’s in-court testimony is inconsistent with his or her deposition, then the deposition can be used at trial to attack the credibility of that witness. As a result, depositions allow you to more fully develop a criminal defense strategy that is tailored to the facts at hand.
Another thing to consider is the fact that witnesses who support your side of the story may be deposed. You need to be able to prepare them for their out-of-court testimony in order to best preserve it. Failing to do so can quickly derail your defense.
Going head-to-head with aggressive prosecutors can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By being fully prepared, you can better position yourself to negotiate a favorable plea deal or even obtain dismissed charges or an acquittal. To do so, though, you’ll probably need some legal knowledge, which is where the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney may prove beneficial.