Are Police Credible Witnesses?

TULSA, Oklahoma. One of the aspects of a case that can make or break the outcome involves witness testimony. Many cases hinge on witness testimony. However, expectations on the part of the jury can also affect how witness testimony is perceived. According to the American Bar, factors such as how a witness dresses or their body language can impact how their testimony is viewed by the jury.

One important witness in a court case will be the arresting police officers. In general, police officers tend to be viewed as credible witnesses, but as more reports of officers lying or covering up crimes is revealed, it becomes even more important to assess the credibility of an officer taking the stand.

If you are being charged with a crime, what an officer says in court can have an impact on your case. However, if the officer has lied in the past, or has been sanctioned for misconduct, this information could prove beneficial to your case. In New York, the district attorney wants more access to New York Police Department disciplinary records for this exact reason. The New York Times reports that prosecutors want this information from the police department so that they can avoid wasting their time prosecuting bad arrests. 

As more reports of police brutality have reached the news, prosecutors and the general public have called for police misconduct records to be made public. This information isn’t always readily available.

It can be helpful to know if a police officer who arrested you or who was involved in your case has faced prior disciplinary measures—especially if you are considering taking a plea deal. The officer’s credibility can impact the strength of the state’s case. This could reflect on your own case and how the officer handled evidence and even the police officer’s perceived truthfulness on the stand. In Manhattan alone, prosecutors admitted to 43 cases where police arrested the wrong person. Misconduct alone might not be the only problem. Police with sleep problems may not always be as alert at certain times during their shifts. Officers with problems at home, may be more sensitive to domestic disturbances. Officers, after all, are only human. It seems only fair that a criminal defense lawyer should have access to some, or all, of this information. Fortunately, your criminal defense lawyer will be able to look into arresting officer’s past records and bring this to bear should it be relevant in trial. For example, an officer with a history of bad arrests might not be as credible as an officer with a sterling record.

If you are facing criminal charges in Tulsa, Oklahoma, much may be at stake: your freedom, your reputation, and your rights. The Henson Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is a Tulsa, Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer who works closely with individuals facing criminal charges. Our firm can take the time to review your case, review the history and backgrounds of the arresting officers, and determine where there are gaps in the case. When your life is at stake, you need a qualified lawyer who will research every possible avenue to prove your innocence. You need the Henson Law Firm, P.L.L.C. 

THE HENSON LAW FIRM, PLLC

Attorneys and Counselors at Law

406 S. Boulder, Suite 400

Tulsa, OK 74103-3800

Telephone : (918) 551-8995

By |2018-07-17T13:59:56+00:00July 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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