It is not often as a criminal defense lawyer that I get to use a State’s witness against them. There are many highs and lows during a trial, but it is always uplifting as an attorney when you know that you are in control of a prosecutor’s witness. It is most common in assault, family violence trials where the complaining witness wants the charges dropped against your client, but the State presses on to trial despite their request. Recently, I was in trial for a theft/shoplifing case where I could not believe that the prosecutor was putting on a witness that I knew would say exactly what I wanted her to say, to the benefit of my client. I am not sure if the prosecutor failed to speak to her beforehand, she only told him what he wanted to hear, or was not aware how easily influenced she would be by an experienced trial attorney. Nevertheless, it felt so good to have her admit that my client had not assisted in the theft despite driving her to the store. I was pleased when the jury returned a quick “not guilty’ verdict.
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