Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

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

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

3 Answers from Attorneys

Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

Has the witness previously testified in the case?

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Answered on 9/24/13, 8:46 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

Usually they bury the dead.

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Answered on 9/25/13, 6:40 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. 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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Answered on 9/25/13, 11:02 am


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