Many Brandon Violent Crimes Attorneys are repeatedly asked this by clients, who are seeking to introduce affidavits or letters from their witnesses supporting their case. Unfortunately, these writings are generally excluded under the hearsay rules of the Florida Evidence Code. As you can imagine, this hearsay rule works both ways, sometimes for the benefit of the State and other times for the benefit of the accused.
In some instances, it protects criminal defendants by preventing law enforcement from simply admitting reports and/or written statements from witnesses to the events. Alternatively, it also requires those accused of a crime to actually bring in physical witnesses. There’s a line of cases beginning with Crawford that essentially require any sort of testimony against a criminal accused to be exposed to cross examination by the accused’s lawyer. This is critical in the defense of individuals because it allows their attorney to highlight inconsistencies and weaknesses in their testimony. Experienced Brandon Violent Crimes Attorneys can win a case through effective cross examination of the State’s witnesses.
You can understand the reasoning because we don’t want people being prosecuted by invisible witnesses or witnesses that simply wrote a statement without having the actual opportunity to confront and cross examine them concerning their observation and testimony. One can quickly imagine a situation, where Brandon Violent Crimes Attorneys wouldn’t be able to cross examine an eye witness, who quickly was pressured by law enforcement after an event to make an identification and is now having second thoughts about their identification.
In rare instances, affidavits are permitted, but again, those are very limited and very fact specific instances. More often than not though, we strongly encourage our clients through our investigator to locate and identify live witnesses for their assistance during their criminal trial. As you can imagine, jurors are more receptive and more understanding of live witnesses as opposed to affidavits or just letters. Regardless, it’s almost impossible to imagine a situation where a letter from a witness would be admissible in a criminal case.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning a criminal trial, contact the Brandon Violent Crimes Attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ve handled many of these matters and would be more than happy to discuss preparation of your defense in your criminal trial with you. We appreciate your time and attention in looking through our blog. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to use the ‘contact us now’ tab in the upper right hand corner of the website. Thank you.