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How to Prepare for your Deposition

LadyJustice

If you are facing a criminal charge, you are going to become acquainted with numerous court procedures in a short period of time. One of these is the discovery process, which includes interrogations, depositions, and requests for the submission of specific pieces of evidence to the court.

A deposition is a conversation between you and the other party’s lawyer made under oath. The purpose of a deposition is to determine the facts of the case. Answers given during a deposition may be recorded for later use. This is a routine part of criminal and civil cases. Preparing for your deposition and other parts of the discovery process is part of an effective criminal defense strategy, so be sure to take the time to learn what to expect from your deposition so you are not caught off guard.

Know What you May be Asked and your Rights

You have the right to refuse to give testimony that could incriminate you. Because of this right, defendants in criminal cases may not be deposed without their consent. If you do consent to a deposition, you will likely be asked about your criminal history and the facts of the alleged incident itself.

You have the right to ask the questioning lawyer to clarify his or her questions. You also have the right to answer “I do not recall” to any questions to which you cannot provide an accurate answer. You have the right to stop talking at any point in your answer and should do so if you are instructed to by your lawyer.

Impressions Matter

Put effort into how you present yourself at your deposition. Wear clean, well-fitting clothing, stand up straight, and articulate your words. Do not be rude or standoffish with the questioning lawyer.

Rehearse your Answers

Although you cannot know for sure what you will be asked, you and your lawyer can anticipate the questions you will face and prepare answers for them. Run through your potential deposition questions with your lawyer a few times before the actual event so you can become comfortable speaking about your case.

How you answer deposition questions is important. Do not give more information than you are asked to provide. For example, if you are asked a question that can be answered with “yes” or “no,” answer it with a “yes” or a “no” without providing further details. If details are needed, the lawyer will ask for them.

Work with an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

Depositions are part of the discovery process, which is part of any legal case. To adequately prepare for your deposition, work with your lawyer to go over the questions you will face, how to present yourself and your answers, and how to avoid hurting your case through the deposition. Contact our team of experienced Miami criminal defense lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with a member of our firm. We can help you prepare for your deposition and develop a strong legal defense strategy for your case.

Resource:

americanbar.org/publications/tyl/topics/criminal-law/discovery_criminal_and_civil_theres_difference.html

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