Las Vegas Defense Lawyer Talks About the Rules for Videotaped Depositions in Nevada
Videotaped depositions and testimony are sometimes presented in criminal court during a trial instead of a witness coming forward and providing testimony in person in court. The circumstances under which video depositions are allowed can be very limited. When this type of evidence is admitted, the jury gets to hear from the witness, but a defendant does not have the chance to question the witness in front of the jury. While a witness can be questioned during the deposition or during the process of giving videotaped testimony, this is not necessarily going to have the same impact as if a jury member was watching the witness respond in person.
When your case is going to trial after you have been accused of committing a crime, you need to know whether the prosecutor is planning to use videotaped testimony to try to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If so, it is important to speak with a legal professional who can help you to argue why the testimony should not be admitted. If you have video testimony of your own that you’d like to present to the court to help with your defense, your lawyer can also provide assistance in trying to convince the court to allow the introduction of the information that could be essential to securing a not guilty verdict.
At LV Criminal Defense, our experienced legal team knows the Nevada rules of criminal procedure and we understand how to make compelling arguments both for and against the admissibility of videotaped depositions and testimony. We can provide assistance when this testimony is taken in questioning witnesses, and we can help you to convince the court to take your position on whether or not the testimony should be admitted during the criminal trial that will determine your fate. Give us a call as soon as possible when you’re being charged with a crime so we can start preparing your defense strategy.
The Use of Videotaped Depositions and Testimony in Nevada Criminal Cases
According to N.R.S. 174.227, a court can order videotaped depositions to be taken and used as evidence in lieu of the witness testifying in person- but the court can order this only under certain limited circumstances. The court can order a videotaped deposition either of the court’s own motion or in response to a motion made by the district attorney who is prosecuting the case.
The court will typically allow a videotaped deposition to be used in circumstances including when:
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- The witness is a victim of certain types of sexual abuse.
- The witness is 14 years of age or younger at the time when testifying as a witness in a criminal case.
- The witness is a victim of sex trafficking as defined by Nevada law. Whenever a district attorney takes the deposition of a victim of sex trafficking, there is a rebuttable presumption that there is good cause for the videotaped deposition to be admitted.
The testimony from a videotaped depositions can also be used to contradict or impeach a witness by pointing out inconsistencies in the witness’ version of events.
If the court determines a videotaped deposition is acceptable as an alternative to the witness testifying directly in court, the court will specify the time of the deposition, as well as the place where it will be taken and the persons who are permitted to be present when the deposition is taken. The district attorney has to provide the defendant with reasonable notice of the time and place where the deposition will be taken. The DA also must include details about the name and the address of the person who is giving the video testimony. This notice is essential so the defendant will have time to prepare questions and to attend the deposition and cross-examine the witness.
Not every deposition finds its way into evidence in a criminal case. If a district attorney intends to use a deposition at trial, it is necessary to state this intention up front before the deposition takes place. The defendant who has been accused of a crime must also be given the opportunity to ask questions of the witness who is providing the video testimony. These questions can be asked in the same manner as the questions that would be asked of a witness who was cross-examined in person during a trial. A justice of the peace or a district judge will preside over the process of the deposition being taken, and the defendant has the right to personally see and hear the testimony provided as part of the deposition process.
How a Las Vegas Criminal Attorney Helps with Videotaped Depositions
If a prosecutor seeks to use videotaped depositions or videotaped testimony in a criminal case against you, you need to determine if this will help or hurt you. Developing an effective trial defense strategy can be very complicated, and one of the most complex parts of putting together a strong defense is to obtain testimony from witnesses. This testimony can be very powerful, and the ability to conduct effective cross examinations of prosecutorial witnesses could mean the difference between a guilty verdict and a not guilty verdict. As a result, you must ensure you make the right choices and the right legal arguments regarding videotaped depositions.
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At LV Criminal Defense, our legal team can help you to determine if it would damage your case for videotaped depositions to be admitted. We’ll also be prepared to conduct these depositions and interview witnesses, and to make arguments against the admission of videotaped testimony in appropriate situations. We understand the rules of criminal procedure and the process of building a strong defense and we will work hard to help ensure you get the best possible outcome in your case.
When you need a Las Vegas defense lawyer on your side who can put legal knowledge of Nevada’s rules of criminal procedure, as well as Nevada’s criminal law, to work on your case, give us a call.