Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Does a court have the right to question a domestic violence victim, about her past, in front of a jury. This would be in an attempt to discredit her, and set their client free.

Asked on 3/12/16, 11:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joe Dane Law Office of Joe Dane

When you say "a court" - do you mean the judge?

Yes, a judge can ask questions of a witness, but most do not.

If you mean the defense attorney (since you said "their client"), then the answer is yes... as long as the questions and topics are admissible and allowed by the judge.

For example, if the witness has a prior conviction for perjury (lying under oath), then the jury can consider that past conviction when assessing credibility of the witness. A prior traffic ticket? No. That has nothing to do with this.

So without knowing WHAT was asked, I cannot answer 100%, but yes, there are times when past conduct or convictions may be asked about.

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Answered on 3/13/16, 9:10 am

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