Our clients often believe that prosecutors need substantial evidence before they can bring charges against a defendant. This could include DNA evidence, fingerprints, CCTV footage, and multiple witnesses. However, in reality, the testimony of one witness is enough evidence to convict a person of a crime in Texas.
Provided that the testimony is convincing, a person can be found guilty of a crime and go to prison based on the testimony of a single witness. If you are facing criminal charges based on witness testimony and no physical evidence, you will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side. Disputing witness statements can be difficult without strong legal representation.
Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Love DuCote Law Firm
The Texas criminal defense lawyers at The Love DuCote Law Firm have over 40 years of combined experience with criminal law in Texas. Our team of aggressive criminal defense lawyers has helped hundreds of clients get their cases dismissed or charges reduced substantially. We have seen many people convicted based on a witness’s testimony, and our job is to introduce reasonable doubt into the minds of the jurors.
Our lawyers have a solid track record of getting the job done. Both managing partners at The Love DuCote Law Firm have won multiple awards for their dedication to criminal defense law. Leigh Love has worked as a former prosecutor, so she has a unique insight into how criminal trials work. This gives her clients an advantage they would not get with other law firms.
Call just today to schedule an initial consultation at 832-843-1691.
What is Witness Testimony?
Witness testimony is a statement given by an eyewitness to a crime in a court of law. This person can be the victim of the crime, a bystander, or a police officer that witnessed the crime. The witness alleges that they have personal knowledge that the crime happened because they saw it happen.
For a witness to testify in court, they must simply provide their story and version of events and do not need other evidence to support their claims. The testimony can be oral or written and is usually given under oath. By giving testimony under oath, a witness is swearing that they are telling the truth about what they saw, experienced, or heard.
Eyewitness testimony is never completely reliable. There are many factors that can influence a person’s version of events. Even if they genuinely believed they saw the defendant commit a crime, their memory could be mistaken. Often, when a victim identifies the perpetrator of a crime, they are under severe stress and they may be inclined to misidentify a person.
Is a Witness Statement Enough To Convict?
Although eyewitness testimony is often unreliable, it is enough evidence to convict a person of a crime in many cases. Even if it is the only evidence in a case, a witness statement can be sufficient to secure a conviction. Once the jury believes the testimony of the witness and the judge finds it credible, they can find the person guilty.
Often, people are arrested based on a victim’s claim with no supporting evidence. It is first up to the police officers to decide whether they believe the alleged victim or the witness that came forward. If they believe this testimony, and the prosecutor believes it to be enough to secure a conviction, it is then up to the jury to decide.
Witness testimony is particularly convincing in domestic violence, abuse, assault, and rape cases. In a domestic abuse or rape case, eyewitness testimony is testimonial evidence because there are only two witnesses to the crime, the perpetrator and the victim. If the witness alleges that the accused sexually assaulted them, the police and Judge must take them at their word unless there is evidence to the contrary.
The Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case
The burden of proof in criminal cases in Texas is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. To arrest an accused person, law enforcement must have probable cause. However, a conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard of proof is quite high because it intends to ensure that innocent men and women are not convicted of crimes they did not commit.
However, the courts in Texas have ruled multiple times that the testimony of one witness alone is enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, provided that the witness can prove all elements of the crime. This means that once there is no doubt in the minds of the jury as to the defendant’s guilt, a guilty verdict is legally sound based on one witness’s testimony.
Defending Against Witness Testimony in Texas
The most common strategy for defending against the testimony of one witness and no other physical evidence is by introducing an element of doubt into the trial. This could mean submitting evidence that is contrary to the testimony of the witness or cross-examining them to figure out holes in their story.
Often, witnesses give multiple versions of their statements that sometimes vary in fact and details. For example, a victim may give an initial statement to police when they first report the crime and then have to relay the story multiple times to different investigating bodies. By the time they submit a written statement, it may vary significantly from the first statement that they gave.
Your criminal defense lawyer can use this changing story in your defense strategy. A skilled attorney may argue that the jury cannot convict you beyond a reasonable doubt because there is doubt in the witness’s testimony. If they said that the perpetrator was wearing a blue jumper in the first statement and then changed the statement to a black jumper, this could be enough to discredit their testimony.
A criminal defense attorney may also find evidence that is contrary to the witness’s testimony. For example, an attorney could get your cell phone records from your mobile provider to show that you were at home at the time of the alleged offense or get CCTV footage to show that you were elsewhere when the crime happened.
Contact The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Today!
Although you may think that a prosecutor needs a lot of evidence to secure a conviction, you can be convicted in Texas with the testimony of one witness. Particularly in assault, domestic abuse, and sex crime cases, the testimony of witnesses can be extremely convincing to a jury.
If you are facing criminal charges based on witness testimony and no physical evidence, hire an attorney as soon as possible. The criminal defense attorneys at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC can help you discredit testimony and prove your innocence in a criminal case. Our law firm has a team of aggressive criminal defense attorneys that is passionate about protecting the rights of the accused.
With over 40 years of combined experience, we have the skills necessary to help you get your charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense. A Texas lawyer from our law firm will investigate your case, assess whether there is any contradictory evidence, negotiate with the prosecution, and cross-examine the witness at trial.
Our lawyers have won many awards for their significant experience with criminal defense, including the “Lawyers of Distinction” award and “Superb” avvo.com ratings. We are committed to protecting your rights and getting the best result possible in your case.
Call us today to arrange an initial consultation at 832-843-1691.