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Assertive Representation In State & Federal Court

The role of depositions in the justice system

if someone is facing criminal charges, whether relating to drug crimes or money laundering, they should not take the prosecution’s word that there is evidence against them at face value. Parties have and should avail the right to conduct an investigation into the charges and find out more about the case. If received before the trial begins, it can provide valuable insight into what the other party might try to argue or if the case can be resolved through a plea negotiation.

Discover, as the investigation is formally called, can come in a number of different forms. Ohio residents may be familiar with subpoenas, whereby documents are produced or depositions, whereby witness statements are collected under oath, before the trial begins.

A deposition serves to both preserve a witness’ testimony and to find out what he or she knows. When both parties know all of the facts, then no-one is surprised during the trial when the witness goes on stand. A surprise is generally considered unfair in the court, so if a witness is going to undermine one’s case with their story, its better to go into the court prepared for it.

Depositions take place in an attorney’s office, where a reporter is also present and recording it word-for-word. All parties to the case can attend the deposition and the questions asked can be broader than those asked in court. Even though legal representatives can make objections to questions asked, the deponent is legally obliged to answer all the questions.

Gathering as much information as possible is part of a successful defense strategy when facing embezzlement or white-collar criminal charges. An experienced attorney may also be able to craft more, depending on the circumstances of one’s case.