During a trial, can the testimony of a witness be used to file additional charges against the defendant?

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During a trial, can the testimony of a witness be used to file additional charges against the defendant?

Asked on April 12, 2015 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Not in the middle of that trial, since to file charges mid-trial would be to deprive the accused of due process: that is, he/she could not adequately defend him/herself against charges if he/she did not know them in advance and have a chance to prepare. However, if the witness's testimony reveals other crimes, the accused have more charges filed later and could be tried on them separately. Alternately, the state (the prosecutor) could opt to voluntarily dismiss the current trial in some cases, then refile all the charges together.


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