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Why you need to know how to attack witness credibility

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you have to find a way to push back against the prosecution’s evidence.

While that’ll certainly mean presenting your own witnesses’ testimony and any physical evidence that might support your criminal defense, you should also pay attention to ways that you can minimize the impact of the prosecution’s evidence on its face.

One way to do this is to attack the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses.

How does attacking witness credibility help?

The judge or jury, depending on if you have a bench or jury trial, are going to assign the weight they deem appropriate to witness testimony. Therefore, if you can draw their truthfulness into question, then the finder of fact is likely to assign less weight to their testimony. So, if you can successfully attack the credibility of key prosecution witnesses, you can increase your chances of beating the charges you’re facing.

How can you attack witness credibility?

There are several ways. Here are some of the most common:

  • Point out any inconsistent statements that the witness has made on a given issue.
  • Demonstrate any bias that the witness has against you.
  • Utilize the witness’s criminal record to show that they have a history of untruthfulness.
  • Illustrate how the witness is motivated to testify against you.
  • Focus on any speculation that the witness engages in to implicate you in the crime in question.
  • Ask the court and the jury to take note of the witness’s demeanor and behavior while testifying.

Competently navigate the intricacies of your criminal defense

Dealing with witness credibility is just one piece of your criminal defense. If you’d like to learn more about what goes into an effective criminal defense strategy, then please continue to research the topic in light of the charges you’re facing. Only then can you make the informed criminal defense decisions that protect your interests as fully as possible and leave you competent and confident to move forward.