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Macgroupie

Can I rail at the prosecutor during trial and if so, how much?

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I will be a witness at another persons criminal trial.

 

I was arrested, my house was searched and thoroughly trashed by police, I lost my job and am still unemployed after 5 years, etc. I was entirely, unrelated, collateral damage during the incident. In other words my life as I knew it was completely destroyed because of this situation, and even though I am cleared now of all charges, it was the police and then the State who caused the majority of the damage to me.

When I testify, my credibility will be attacked. As, part of that, the State will allege that the defendant has harmed me. 

 

This is a little true, but, again, it was the police and the State who have harmed me the most and affected the rest of my life. And, I want to speak this truth in court. I want to say straight out to the jury: It was the police and it was this woman and that guy standing there who by causing me to go through the last 5 years of stress, turmoil, and loss have harmed me far more than this defendant ever has.

 

Problem is, the judge has ruled that my prior charges and acquittals cannot be entered as evidence at trial.

 

So, then, can I still allude to my harm then indirectly as I indicate above? Appreciate your advice here on what is regarded as permissible by a witness and what is not.

 

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All you can do is answer the questions that are put to you by the lawyers who are trying the case. If you try to offer testimony that goes beyond what is asked, you are likely to get a warning from the judge and if you continue to try to do it you'll get hit with contempt sanctions.

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1 hour ago, Macgroupie said:

can I still allude to my harm then indirectly as I indicate above?

 

As a witness, you will be asked questions and will be obligated to answer those questions.  You won't have an opportunity to make a speech.  If the prosecutor doesn't ask about this subject matter, then you won't be able to make these comments (if you stray from responding tot he question asked, the judge will order you simply to stick to responding to the question asked).  Not is there likely any reason to do so since it doesn't appear any of this is relevant to the case.

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Hi @Macgroupie

 

Thanks for your question. It is completely understandable that you have a few things you'd like to say while on the witness stand, and how frustrating it must be to hear from other posters that you may not be able say these things while a witness. As other posters have mentioned, there are strict rules about testifying witnesses -- if you begin talking about your thoughts and opinions outside of a direct response to a question, this will likely raise an objection, and the judge will strike your testimony. This is particularly true if the judge has already ruled that certain topics are inadmissible at this trial. If you mention these topics, an objection will be raised and the judge will instruct the jury to disregard your testimony. If you persist, it will be highly problematic because in reality a jury cannot "unhear" what they have already heard, and this may cause the jury to be prejudiced and lead to a mistrial. As other posters mentioned, the judge will not hesitate to use his contempt powers.

 

You may want to consider speaking with an attorney about a civil suit against the State and/or the police. For a free consultation with an attorney, click here.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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