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Training Of Police Officers for Courtroom Testimony

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The below article is a guest post and may not reflect the views of Brett Podolsky, Attorney at Law.

Understanding how police officers prepare for courtroom testimony is crucial as it can aid in absolving you of all the charges that have been preferred against you. Note that, the initial step towards freeing the streets of a suspected criminal is lawful arrest. However, the most crucial step to making certain that the alleged criminal is kept off the street is proper correct courtroom testimony.

According to a recent study by a non-government organization, it was determined that the decision of the jury and that of the presiding judge is greatly influenced by the performance of a police officer in a courtroom. Therefore, it is extremely important that every police officer learns essential courtroom testimony skills in order to guarantee the success of their cases.

Unfortunately, only a handful of police officers are trained on effective courtroom testimony skills. Since the composure and response of the police officer are crucial in determining a ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ verdict, it is crucial that you learn how police officers prepare for courtroom testimonies.

Listed below are tips on how police officers prepare for courtroom testimonies:

  1. Analysis of all reports and evidences that have been submitted in court

Before stepping into a courtroom, police officers usually go through all the reports and evidences that have been submitted. By doing so, they’re able to refresh their memories in regards to the most important things about the case. Note that, the jury is less likely to think of the police officer as a reliable witness if he or she is not prepared. On the other hand, preparation will prevent them from the embarrassment of having to review their notes while on the stand. Stating everything from your memory is a sign that you are a reliable witness.

Since criminal defense attorneys understand how police officers prepare, they will be able to identify which areas of their testimonies to attack in order to make them look as lesser credible witnesses.

  1. Assessment of the most important details about the case with assistance of the prosecuting officer.

Prosecutors like to build an expert rapport with the arresting police officers by going over the details of the case with them. This is normally done at least 2-3 days before the trial. But, one of the benefits of hiring a criminal attorney is their familiarity with the different tactics applied by various prosecutors. As such, they tend to look for loopholes in the case in order to try and break the rapport between the arresting officer and prosecutor.

Listening to each and every question

Listening is an important skill which police officers have learned over the years in order to ensure the success of their cases. When in a courtroom, police officers tend to pay attention to each and every question being asked. If there is something which they do not understand, they’ll tend to request for clarifications. On the other hand, they are never in a hurry to answer questions. This is a tactic designed to prevent them from divulging information that may be important to the defense team. However, this is less likely to happen if you are being defended by a reputable criminal defense attorney. They know which buttons to push in order to make the police officer lose his/her composure.

  1. Learning the art of non-verbal communication

Unknown to a number of people is that police officers also use non-verbal communications in order to strengthen their cases. For instance, police officers will always dress properly for the occasion. On the material day, you’ll see the arresting officer in a polished brass and boots. While being sworn in, they’ll always maintain eye contact with the jurors in addition to when you are being asked questions. Posture is crucial as interpreted as a sign of professionalism.

Note that, at the time of your arrest, the arresting police officer must have suspected you of wrong-doing and as such will try to capitalize on the reason for your arrest to try and achieve a conviction. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel upon being arrested for a felony.

 

About The Author:

Christopher J. McCann is a practicing Orange County DUI lawyer at the law offices of Christopher J. McCann, who was recently awarded his 6th SuperLawyers Magazine “Rising Star” award. You can follow Chris tweets at @cjm_law_firm

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