Is a defense lawyer permitted to interview and question prosecution witnesses before the trial?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is a defense lawyer permitted to interview and question prosecution witnesses before the trial?

Generally in most states can the defense lawyer question a prosecution witness about his criminal record (i.e. any past arrests and/or convictions)?

Asked on February 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This can be tricky, but in Michigan, a defense attorney has every right to question a prosecutions witness prior to trial. I often will give the prosecutor notice of who I plan to speak to and the nature of my questioning. The prosecutor also has a right to be present during my questioning. The issue of whether or not a defense laywer can question a witness about there past criminal record depends on your State's Rules of Evidence becaue in Michigan a defense attorney cannot inquire into a persons past criminal history or prior bad acts unless that person was convicted of a crime of theft or dishonesty as it sheds light on the persons credibility. I would speak with your attorney or a defense attorney in your area to determine if your state's rules of evidence will allow such questions to be asked of a witness.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption