California  |  Criminal Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/24/13, 8:35 pm

what happens if the district attorneys main witness dies in a criminal case in california? Victorville CA, San bernardino county is the venue location.

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Answered on: 9/24/13, 8:46 pm by Zadik Shapiro

Has the witness previously testified in the case?


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Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro 15 Boardman Pl. San Francisco, CA 94103

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Answered on: 9/25/13, 6:40 am by Anthony Roach

Usually they bury the dead.


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Law Office of Anthony A. Roach 9909 Topanga Canyon, Ste.313 Chatsworth, CA 91311

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Answered on: 9/25/13, 11:02 am by Edward Hoffman

There is no rule that a case must be dismissed if the primary witness dies. The D.A. will decide whether there is enough evidence to support a conviction without live testimony from the witness.

In some instances, there will be records of prior testimony (from a preliminary hearing, for example) that can be used at the trial. There are a variety of other ways to introduce out-of-court statements, but whether any of them would work in this case will depend on the specifics.

But even if there is no way to use anything this witness has said, there may still be more than enough other evidence.


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Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman 11755 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250 Los Angeles, CA 90025

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