Depositions in Criminal Cases

If you are charged with a felony, you have the right to take depositions of all witness that may testify in the case against you. You do not have this right if you are charged with a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a misdemeanor and want to take a deposition, however, you may request permission from the Judge to do so – although such permissions are rarely granted.

I had a deposition the other day where the detective revealed things that were nowhere to be found in any of his reports. Taking depositions is not always cheap. You have to hire a court reporter and have subpoenas served. However, sometimes the cost is well worth it. In this particular case, the detective basically told us that the alleged victim was not at all truthful with him and the criminal defendant was! That her story didn’t add up and his did. In the end, what this translates into is the statements of the victim being totally unreliable. In a case where a victim statement is the main evidence in a criminal case, the reliability of victim statements is crucial. This information was not anywhere in any report. If we had not taken the deposition of this particular witness, neither the prosecutor nor the defense attorney would have had any idea about how the detective felt about this case either. In the end, I hope the charges get dismissed. But that remains to be seen. It is now in the discretion of the prosecutor.


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