What Can I Expect at My Deposition?
If you have been charged with a crime, one of the steps in the criminal justice process is the discovery process. Discovery is when both parties involved in a case collect information from each other about their perspectives on the case and their evidence. One way to do this is with a deposition, an interview conducted under oath. Often, witnesses are required to undergo depositions. Sometimes, the defendant is required to undergo one as well. If you are asked to complete a deposition, your criminal defense lawyer can help you prepare for it. Expect the following from your deposition:
You will be Under Oath
As the defendant, you cannot be subjected to a deposition without your consent. If you do consent to the deposition, you will be under oath during it and must tell the truth to every question asked.
Expect two types of questions. One set of questions will be basic questions about your name, occupation, current address, and biographical details. The other set will be specifically about the alleged criminal offense. Your lawyer will coach you on how to answer these questions appropriately. Do not give answers in excess of what you are asked. In other words, provide succinct answers to the questions and do not elaborate on your answers unless you are asked to do so.
Expect it to Take a Long Time
Contrary to how depositions are depicted in the media, yours will most likely take longer than an hour. It will likely take place in a lawyer’s office or a similar setting.
Expect Information from Witness Depositions
As the defendant, you have the right to read statements from any witnesses that have been deposed that you would be entitled to read during the trial. You also have the right to cross-examine witnesses for your own discovery prior to the trial and confront witnesses against your case. In order to exercise this right, you also have the right to be notified of each witness’ deposition’s date and time within a reasonable timeframe beforehand.
You will Gather Useful Information for your Own Cross-Examination
A deposition is for all parties to gather critical information to use in their cross-examinations. When your deposition is over, you will receive a copy of the deposition transcript. With your answers in hand, you know exactly which information the other party has, and which questions you need to ask.
Expect to be Recorded
Your deposition will be recorded. It might be video recorded or audio recorded, and the recording may be used during the trial.
Work with an Experienced Geneva Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whether you are the defendant or the plaintiff, it is always in your best interest to prepare for your deposition by running through it a few times with an experienced Naperville criminal defense lawyer. Contact our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation with us and start developing your legal strategy, deposition prep and all.