Witness testimony could help convict someone at trial, so California prosecutors may feel that their entire case relies on one person’s testimony. Testimony, like other forms of evidence, must be admissible in court. A defense attorney may be able to challenge the admissibility of testimonial evidence. If it turns out the evidence is not admissible, a prosecutor’s entire case might fall apart.
Issues with a witness’ statement
When a witness provides testimony, opinions about reliability may factor into how the judge or jury responds. A witness may believe that he or she saw a specific person commit a particular act, but what if the events took place years ago? Concerns may arise about whether the person remembers things with real clarity.
Even a witness to more recent events might provide troubling testimony. For example, what if it was raining heavily past midnight, and the witness saw an incident from far across the street? The testimony might not be as credible as a witness to an event occurring in broad daylight a few feet away.
In addition, there may be cases where a witness outright lacks credibility. Someone may provide contradictory and easily disputed testimony. Unfortunately, some witnesses go so far as to lie.
Weak testimony might make it difficult for a jury to arrive at guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes, a case may not even go forward if the prosecutor lacks faith in a witness.
Issues with expert witnesses
Sometimes, an expert witness may testify. Is the person truly an expert, though? A closer examination of the witness’s background may cast doubts about their expertise. The witness might strongly believe in his or her conclusions, but they could be inaccurate.
When representing a client, a criminal defense attorney may challenge testimony that lacks credibility. The attorney might even seek to dismiss a case depending on the legal situation.