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Who are Witnesses?

Eyewitnesses

When a crime occurs there are often witnesses. The witnesses might be used either by the Prosecution or by the Defense to prove its side of the case. There are many kinds of witnesses, including eyewitmesses who might have been at the scene of the alleged cime. Some eyewitnesses might have watched the events unfold on a video surveillance device. Some might have watched through a window or from a moving vehicle.

Eyewitness accounts often differ in their memory of the events. If there is an eyewitness against you, there might be another one who saw the events differently. One might say it happened at Noon another might remember it happening in the morning. Someone might have described you as dark haired and you were actually bald. You will want to have a Discovery Motion to find out every bit of evidence which the District Attorney has. Not just the evidence he is planning to use.

Eyewitnesses testifying against you can be very persuasive to jury members. If someone is certain you did it even though you were not there, it will be necessary to show the witness is remembering some wardrobe item, but not the person who wore it. Police have been known to "plant" memories in witnesses, especially children. Search the McMartin Preschool Trial. Eyewitness testimony often falls apart under cross examination by a good attorney.

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses might be experts and they might not be experts. If someone is a gun expert but he is Barney Fife and not Sheriff Taylor, his testimony might be easy to pick apart. You need a good attorney who will ask detailed questions of any expert witness. Ask if the witness is being paid to testify.

If possible arrange for your own expert witnesses who can refute the testimony from the other side. Your Defense Team should be geared for a massive offense as well as a strong defense.

Family members

In the event of an injury there might be family members of the victim who will be testifying about the injuries or previous abilities of the person. You must have your team question that witness in a way that is polite but not necessarily in a way that indicates the witness is telling the truth. Witnesses might lie or just not remember facts completely until they are interrogated thoroughly.

Medical Experts

Is the witness a doctor or an intern? How many hours had they worked on that day? Were they tired? Have they ever made a mistake? What else could cause this result? Do they wear glasses? What was the lighting at the scene? Have an attorney who will ask some questions and find the truth. Has this doctor made a career of being an "expert witness?"

The Witness

Alibi Witnesses

Wife/Husband

Were you with your spouse at the time the crime is alleged to have been committed? Were you in a restaurant? Do you have a credit card receipt for that time of day? Were you asleep? Is there a phone record of you being engaged in a conversation at the alleged time? Does someone remember what time you came home on that day or night?

E-Mail

if you were on your computer at that time did you happen to send someone an e-mail that will have a time and date stamp?

Victim's Alibi Witness

Was the victim actually at that place in question at that time? Does the victim have a witness who is reliable? Has the entire alleged crime been made up?

Landlords and Friends

Did they see you or talk to you at the time in question? Was there a time zone difference? What time does the witness have on his/her watch right now? Is the watch fast or slow? Can the witness see what color of eyes the person in the front row has?

Ask questions that are not expected.