Can the defense call a prosecution witness?

Can bond conditions be changed?
April 23, 2020
First Time Shoplifting in PA
June 17, 2020
Show all

Can the defense call a prosecution witness?

When you’re charged with a crime, you know how important it is to build a strong defense. There are many different legal strategies when it comes to a defense. In some cases, it’s best to simply argue that the state hasn’t proven the elements of the crime against you. In most cases, however, you need to present some kind of defense. You might see that the state plans to call certain witnesses against you. You might wonder if you can call any of these same witnesses as defense witnesses, too. Criminal defense attorney Richard Fink explains when the defense can call a prosecution witness.

Can the defense call a prosecution witness?

Yes, the defense can call a prosecution witness. Many times, a witness will have valuable things to say that the prosecution doesn’t want to be heard. It’s up to you to make sure to ask the right questions so that the person tells the entire story. The defense can call a prosecution witness by recalling them to the stand after the prosecution calls them in the first place. The defense may also question the person during cross-examination.

Using the prosecution witness to your advantage

In a criminal trial, the prosecution goes first. They present evidence that they want to present. They call the witnesses that they think are favorable to their case. The defense also has a chance to present their case.

When you’re charged with a crime, you have rights. One of the rights that you have is the right to a trial to determine your guilt or innocence. Of course, a trial must be fair if it’s going to be an adequate representation of your rights. It wouldn’t be fair to allow the prosecution to claim certain witnesses for their case. Even if the prosecution calls them, or puts them on a witness list, they might have valuable things to offer in your criminal defense.

Cross-examining a prosecution witness

The first way that you can use a prosecution witness to your advantage is through cross-examination. Even though the state attorney has the first opportunity to ask the witness questions, you get to ask the witness questions once they’re finished. The questions that you prepare can create doubt about the witness’ credibility. Alternatively, you may want the jury to think that the witness is credible, but you might want to ask them questions that damage the prosecution’s case.

In addition to having the opportunity to ask questions, the way that you can ask questions on cross-examination is more open. On cross-examination, you can ask leading questions. A leading question is a type of question that suggests the answer. By using the cross-examination process to your advantage, you can pinpoint the witness’ testimony to shape your defense.

Calling the witness during the presentation of your case

Another way to call a prosecution witness is during the presentation of your case. After the prosecution presents their case, you have the opportunity to present your case. You can call the same witnesses that testified on behalf of the prosecution.

If you plan to call prosecution witnesses, remember to issue a subpoena to require the witness to appear in court. You can’t count on the state’s attorney to order the person to appear even if they are on their witness list. Make sure you issue your own subpoena so that they are available to testify when it’s your turn to present your case.

Criminal defense attorney for questioning witnesses

If you need to prepare a strong defense, criminal defense attorney Richard Fink can help you fight the charges against you. Richard Fink is an aggressive litigator. He explores every possible angle to fight your charges including questioning witnesses. Call today to begin right away