In addition to cross examination of child witnesses and any other involved persons giving testimony, it is usually advantageous to interview the Michigan Child Protective Services agents who were involved in interviewing the child. Oftentimes, the video evidence of a child’s statements are not allowed in court, and all that the jury is provided is statements made on the stand by the CPS interviewer. It is extremely possible for false information to be presented and issues with the interview hidden, making it essential to know how to aggressively cross examine the interviewer and uncover the complete truth.
Not only does cross examination allow for a more fair perspective on the interview and statements made, but can sometimes even expose critical flaws in the prosecution’s case which could lead to a favorable result. Effective cross examination of CPS interviewers in Michigan can lead to voluntary dismissal of charges, lessened charges, or a lighter sentence. Working with an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer who not only understands court strategies that are effective in sex crimes cases, but the tactics used by Child Protective Services throughout a criminal investigation and the mistakes that can be made will allow you to obtain the best possible case result, no matter what the specific details of your case.
There are a number of statements often made by CPS interviewers that should be vigorously questioned by defense counsel. The video of an interview is usually not included in court evidence because it is repetitious and would bolster the testimony given by a child, however the interviewer will still make statements concerning what happened during the course of a recorded interview.
The interviewer will likely state that none of the questions asked led the child to certain answers, however pointed questions about the types of questions asked and answers given could reveal otherwise. In addition, the interviewer will try to establish that the child was able to recall and describe sensory information in relation to the offense. Cross-examination may provide the opportunity to show errors in the statements made by a child, or in the correlations made by an interviewer.
In addition, cross-examination can provide an opportunity to expose how little a CPS interviewer really knows about a case, and demonstrate that he or she may not be the best judge of what truly happened. CPS interviewers may also not understand the psychology of sex crime accusations, and the prevalence of false statements and allegations in cases involving highly suggestible children.
The primary point that a defense lawyer needs to prove through effective cross examination is that the interviewer always testifies on behalf of the state, regardless of what truly happened in an interview. Prosecutors will attempt to undermine the errors the defense exposes in their case by utilizing a trusted figure such as a CPS interviewer, who really just says what they know the prosecutors need to hear in order to obtain a conviction.
The consistency of the child throughout an interview is also a potential issue to consider during examination. While cross-examination of a child witness in court may provide the opportunity to show that certain answers don’t line up with others, cross-examining the interviewer about what the child said and the attitude with which statements were made can likewise expose inconsistencies in the story and tone of the witness. Not only could this hurt the credibility of a witness, but could help undermine anything that was potentially said in an interview.
When you face a Michigan sex crime accusation, you will be up against police, prosecutors, child protective services agents, and others who will be looking to convict you. When it feels like no one is on your side, contact a Michigan sex crime defense lawyer who will stand with you throughout the criminal justice process. Call Grabel & Associates at 1-800-342-7896 or contact our team online to learn more about effective cross examination strategies and begin fighting for an outstanding case result. We are available 24/7 to provide you with a free case consultation.