Cross-Examination of Arresting Officer in Drug Sale Case
The most critical item in the trial of a drug sale case is the cross-examination of the arresting officer. Although good cross-examination may not necessarily mean an acquittal, bad cross-examination will almost always guarantee a conviction.Asking the Right Questions
The key to a successful cross-examination, is asking the right questions regarding the specific facts of your drug sale case. Your criminal defense attorney may cross-examine the officer by asking the following questions:
- In front of which address were you parked?
- Were you on the driver’s side or the passenger’s?
- Were you on the same side of the street or across the street from my client?
- Were there parked cars between you and Defendant?
- Did you use binoculars or any other viewing device to observe Defendant?
- Did your partner?
- Were there other officers on surveillance? If yes, who were they?
- Where were they stationed?
- Did they use binoculars to your knowledge?
- At the time you saw Defendant give some item to another individual, how far were you from the Defendant?
- Had you moved from the position from which you first saw Defendant?
- The item you say you saw Defendant give to the individual who approached him—you could not see what it was? [The defense attorney should have the witness describe it in as much detail as possible to prevent harmful elaboration at a suppression hearing or trial.]
- And you could not identify the item the individual gave to Defendant? [Again, the defense attorney should seek details.]
- You say that my client handed the package you thought was crack cocaine to another man?
- Could you please describe that other man?
- Was this a man you had seen before?
- [If so] Where / when / doing what?
- What did you see the man do with the package he got from my client?
- Did you stop that man that night?
- Did any of the other officers?
- Did anyone search him?
- Did you find any crack cocaine on him?
- What was his name?
- His address?
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with criminal defense attorney ParamPabla, please contact the Law Offices of Param S. Pabla at (916) 285-7900.