Articles Posted in Witness Testimony

When a person has been arrested on suspicion of violating a section of the California Penal Code or the California Vehicle Code, police officers that arrested the person will be required to prepare a report on their observations. The report will contain all details of the arrest, starting with when the person was first approached by officers and ending at when they were taken into custody.

Let’s consider an example. Dan is weaving in and out of his lane, and is pulled over by officers on suspicion of a DUI. He is then pulled over and asked by officers if he had been drinking. Dan replies that he had a beer, and officers ask him to step out of the vehicle and ask him to complete some field sobriety tests while they observe his behavior for 15 minutes. After being fairly confident that Dan was intoxicated beyond the limit indicated by the relevant code section, they arrest him and take him into custody.

The officers will note in a report their observations of Dan’s driving that led them to pull him over. Additionally, they will note any statements that Dan made regarding the fact that he had one beer. This is generally why it is advisable to state that you would like to not make any statements, especially those that may incriminate you. These statements will be included in the officer’s report which will be entered as evidence during your case. They are admissible in Court, and therefore, the best way to avoid strengthening the government’s case against you, it is best to refrain from making any statements during your arrest.

One of the strongest pieces of evidence used in Domestic Violence cases is personal testimony. When a person who witnesses the whole incident, or even the victim chooses to testify, it makes the case a lot stronger. Other evidence such as a declaration, or police report may also be presented as evidence but when a person testifies as to the incident and actions of the accused, it gives the case more support.

Despite it being excellent evidence, the common problem in illicit testimony is the unavailable witness. A witness is considered unavailable when they refuse to testify. The are several reasons that will cause a witness to deny testifying.

A witness will not testify if they can assert a privilege. This means that because of law, and to protects a person’s interests, there are certain kinds of communications that are privileged. Much of the conversations between attorneys and their clients are privileged and will be held in confidence, as are communications between a Therapist and their patient. Additionally, a spouse will not be asked to testify against their own spouse because of spousal privilege. This is a common obstacle in domestic violence cases. A spouse cannot be made to testify against their spouse, to protect the sanctity and privacy of marriage. For example, Husband hits Wife and wife has filed charges against her husband. She cannot be made to take the stand when the case is being heard and give testimony against the husband, unless she chooses to do so. It is her right to waive the privilege and testify.

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