Impeachment by Witness and Cross Examination During Trial

Using Inconsistency to Impeach an Adverse Witness

Prosecutors will almost certainly call witnesses to testify against you in a domestic violence case. It is important that your South King County criminal attorney call into question such testimony, if possible. One particularly strong method is to impeach the witness for inconsistent statements.

South King County DUI LawyerHow to Show Inconsistencies on Cross-Examination

The ideal inconsistency to expose is one that tends to undermine that state’s case against you, was made close to the events in question (such as at deposition), and was preserved in a police report or recording. Your attorney may pursue the line of cross-examination this way:

  1. Set the Foundation – This entails getting the witness to repeat or agree to what was said on direct. This commits him/her to the impeachable testimony.
  2. Emphasize the Testimony – To give strength to the impeachment soon to follow, your attorney will ask for certainty about the current testimony. For example: “You are certain that….” Once the witness agrees, he/she is locked into the testimony.
  3. Set up the Attack – Your South King County criminal attorney will then bring up the fact that the witness testified before to the incident. He will set up the time, place, and circumstances under which the prior testimony was given, then move in for the attack. By setting up the attack, your attorney is making it clear that he already knows what was said previously. The witness will also feel a dawning dread at
  4. this point, knowing that his inconsistent statement is about to be exposed.
  5. Draw out the Impeachment – Your attorney will draw out the prior testimony. It is useful to break up the questions into many brief ones. This will help build the tension for the witness, and he may be caught trying to evade a direct answer.


Call for Legal Assistance

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you need a strong South King County criminal attorney in your corner. Call South King County criminal attorney today at (253) 709-5050.

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