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Why attacking witness credibility may be key to your case

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense

The evidence being presented against you in your criminal case might be overwhelming. But regardless of what the prosecution is prepared to present against you, you might have strong criminal defense options that, if properly utilized, will better protect your interests. Among these are seemingly minor tactics, such as attacking witness credibility.

Why you should be concerned about witness credibility

Witness credibility is a big part of your case. This is because the deciding factor in your case, whether that be the judge or jury, will give more weight to the testimony of witnesses who seem credible and thus reliable. Witnesses who appear to be lying, on the other hand, won’t have as much power as initially thought. Therefore, you want to diminish the reliability of the prosecution’s witnesses and support the reliability of your own witnesses.

How you can attack witness credibility

But how do you go about attacking the prosecution’s witnesses? Here are just a few of the strategies that you might be able to implement in your case:

  • Show prior criminal history, especially if those offenses involve dishonesty, as does fraud or forgery.
  • Highlight inconsistent statements, which are usually identified after the witness has been deposed and subsequently changes their story when testifying at the trial.
  • Point out biases, such as bad blood between you and the witness or someone who has a history of discriminating against people of a certain class.
  • Demonstrate extrinsic motivations to testify against you, such as when someone is offered leniency in exchange for testifying against you.

Presenting the strongest criminal defense possible

You may have other options for attacking witness credibility, and depending on the facts of your case, you may have other tactics that you can use to push back against the prosecution. If you’d like to learn more about what the options look like in your case, consider researching those law firms that may be able to help.