Free Case Evaluation

Please fill out the following form to get a Free Case Evaluation.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Email Signup

Please fill out the following form to sign up for email updates.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Can I Call a Witness in My Defense during trial?

Trial Procedures:

Can I call a witness in my defense during trial?

Our next entry in our basics of Florida criminal procedure series regards whether an accused can call their own witnesses and present their own testimony at their trial. One of the most common questions by those accused of a crime are when are they going to hear my side of the story. Throughout the lead up to trial, criminal defendants never really have an opportunity to tell their side of the story.

Yes. Both the defense and the prosecution, the State Attorney’s Office, have the opportunity to present evidence or witnesses that strengthen their case (as long as they fall within the Florida and/or Federal Rule of Evidence). The Florida and/or Federal Rules of Evidence set out standards for witnesses that can be used in trials (i.e. – relevance, personal knowledge, etc.). Additionally, the rules of evidence set forth the proper standards for the admission of hearsay and other forms of objectionable evidence. Florida case law and evidentiary code also extremely limit the ability of a party to question a criminal defendant or witness’s testimony concerning other unrelated crimes. This is especially important in cases where the accused or witness was previously convicted of the same crime. Ultimately, the rules of evidence provide even more specific requirements for the admissions of prior act evidence in sex cases.

Both sides also have the opportunity to question that witness or any piece of evidence presented. There are a few different types of witnesses. There are: eyewitnesses, character witnesses, lay witnesses and expert witnesses. The sex crimes attorneys of Blumenuaer Hackworth have extensive experience examining and cross examining witness in defense our clients. Additionally, we have experience utilizing expert witnesses properly in the defense of our clients.

Eyewitnesses are people that actually observed an event that took place and testify to what they observed. Character witnesses are witnesses that might not know anything about the issue in the case but are merely there to attest to the defendant’s character (or plaintiff’s character) and talk about the type of person he or she is. In Florida, this sort of testimony is extremely limited because of fears about unfair prejudice and the impact of the same on a jury. Lay witnesses are people that have personal knowledge about facts relating to the case. Expert witnesses are witnesses that have more knowledge than the average person regarding a subject and are compensated for their testimony regarding a particular area. The majority of expert witnesses in Florida criminal cases are employees of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or FDLE. Often times, they are there to testify about the characteristics of a bullet, drugs or some other sort of scientific evidence.

If you or someone you know has questions regarding the questioning of witnesses during a criminal trial or are in need of a driving under the influence (DUI) defense attorney, contact the criminal trial attorneys of Blumenuaer Hackworth for a free case consultation. We look forward to working with you.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.