Cross-Examination Can Be Tricky

If criminal charges have you headed for a trial and you are determined to testify in your own defense, be prepared for a rough cross-examination experience. Prosecutors know how to paint people in a negative light, and they will undoubtedly be prepared to try to overwhelm you with a variety of questions and techniques 

Prosecutors’ Goals

A prosecutor is single-mindedly trying to undercut your story by attempting to catch you in discrepancies and inconsistencies. They will try to get you to confirm the facts that they have presented while simultaneously dinging your credibility, all in pursuit of a guilty verdict. You can anticipate a premeditated and planned-out attack.

Prosecutors’ Methods

Prosecutors are famous for using leading questions in order to get you to agree with the premise of their question. This limits your capacity to add qualifications to your answers, and will gradually prod you in the direction they want to take you. Every single question will be asked with a focus on a particular fact, and will likely be concise and to the point in order to force you into their rhythm. Your opinions will be of no interest to them—just the provable facts. 

The Constructive Method

Constructive questions are used to get morsels from you that will help their case. The prosecutor may present as friendly, even though they are absolutely not on your side. Do not be fooled by this scheme to beguile you and make you feel comfortable enough to drop your guard.

Deconstructive Method

At this point the prosecutor is unashamedly attacking your credibility by cutting you off, boxing you in, and challenging the fundamentals of your story. It can be unsettling to have someone looming over you with the goal of impeaching your testimony and is definitely intended to make the prosecutor appear to be holding all the cards while you sit in the witness box squirming.

The Prosecutor Likes to Know What You Will Say Before You Say it

A good prosecutor will have done their homework and will ask only questions that have predictable answers based on previous testimony or evidence they have. If you drift from something you have already said, they will try to pin you down and make you look crooked in front of the jury. 

Facts and Credibility

Your believability will be judged based on how your story lines up with the facts of the case and by your manner as you sit in the courtroom.  Remember, the eyes of the jury will be on you at all times.

Be Prepared

The experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Boertje & Associates always fight for the best possible outcomes for you. If that includes testifying at trial, count on rigorous preparation. To discuss this, schedule a confidential consultation in our Las Vegas office today.

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