A deposition is part of pretrial discovery procedures. Not everyone arrested will take part in a deposition, however. Read on and find out when and why depositions are held and what they mean for those facing criminal charges. 

Not Everyone is Deposed

Depending on the charges, almost all criminal cases are handled using plea bargains. With this type of legal maneuver, the defendant pleads guilty and then gets sentenced. There is no trial so there is no need for discovery to take place. However, with a plea bargain, your criminal defense lawyer will likely engage in a quasi-discovery move when they request evidence from the state. Knowing what the state has against you is vital when trying to decide on a plea bargain.

Depositions and Discovery

An equitable exchange of evidence and facts about the case makes up all aspects of discovery. A deposition is but one of many discovery practices. Discovery and depositions, in particular, allow the parties to share facts about the case. A disposition consists of anyone connected to the crime being questioned under oath. What results in a deposition can be used when the trial begins. For example, your lawyer might question a witness to the crime to gain a better understanding. On the other hand, you may be also questioned by the state attorney about the alleged crime.

What Defendants Should Know

To be prepared for the deposition, follow these tips:

  • Know your facts. Review your paperwork and discuss everything that is likely to come up in the trial with your attorney.
  • Stay calm and watch what you say. This is no time to ramble on. Answer only what is asked and nothing more.
  • Don't make guesses. If you don't understand the question or don't know the answer, speak up. Never give answers that you are unsure about. If you think you misspoke, let your lawyer know right away.
  • Double-check that you have been open and forthcoming about everything with your lawyer. You can tell them anything and your lawyer needs to know about it before the state begins questioning you.

How you conduct yourself is a preview of how your court case will go when and if you take the stand in your own defense. A deposition is an opportunity to practice being questioned under oath about the case so that you can be better prepared for the court experience.

Talk to a criminal defense law firm like Baber & Baber, P.C. Attorneys at Law about your upcoming deposition to find out more.