One of the main tools for a defense lawyer in criminal defense cases is the Confrontation Clause. Sex Crimes The Confrontation clause of the 6th amendment states “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” This means that all criminal defendants have the opportunity to meet the witnesses on the prosecutions case against them and also allows them to dispute the witness’s testimony. Thanks to the 14th amendment, the confrontation clause applies to both state and federal courts. All statements made either in court or outside the court can be used in evidence during any trial. The confrontation clause applies to statements made in court and it permits the defendant to cross – examine a witness so they can essentially challenge their testimony. If in a case the judge restricts a defendant’s cross – examination of a witness, it may lead to a violation of the confrontation clause.
In Criminal Defense cases the Confrontation clause trumps Hearsay rules. Specifically, in some cases, prosecutors may be able to use statements that were given outside of the courtroom as well so long as they are an admissible form of hearsay. Juvenile crimes However, these statements still may not be admissible if they violate the Confrontation clause. If a non-testifying victim gave the statements during a police interrogation or to a medical responder, social worker, or hospital staff, it may be in violation to the confrontation clause and be inadmissible. If you or someone you know has been accused of a criminal offense, the 6th Amendment gives you the right to confront witnesses. When going threw this it is important to understand how the law works. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn more about the confrontation clause. The Law Offices of Kelly and Conte are here to help, call today to schedule a free consultation.