Is it legal for the arresting officer in a case to sit with the district attorney in a pre-trial before and after his questioning on stand?

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Is it legal for the arresting officer in a case to sit with the district attorney in a pre-trial before and after his questioning on stand?

During my pretrial after my arresting officer was cross examined he sat down next to the district attorney instead of leaving like all the other officers had done before him.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well, it is certainly not proper, but there is no "law" against it.  If the case goes to trial, you could allege that the officer who sat with the D.A. has a bias as evidenced by this unusual behavior--but it's probably not going to change the case one way or the other. 

Next time I would suggest you or your attorney request that the bailiff ask the officer to sit "behind the bar" since he is not a party.  The bailiff can refuse or follow your request and tell the officer to go sit in the back.  The bailiff and the judge run the courtroom and they can let anyone sit wherever they want.


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