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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?
We Can Help

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.

Client Reviews
“Mr. Pabla represented me with my DUI case. He has excellent communication skills and always kept me informed. Mr. Pabla made sure I understood the process and my rights. He eased my mind through a very stressful situation. I highly recommend Mr. Pabla.” Gurpreet
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“Param was excellent in my court case of failure to stop at a stop sign. The officer could not see clearly because he was too far away. The officer insisted he could and said he had video but could not produce it at the trial. The officer then asked if he could suspend the trial to go get the video but the judge said he should have had plenty of time to get the video ready beforehand. Needless to say, the judge ruled in my favor and dismissed the case which enraged the officer. Pabla Param’s defense and cross examination skills were excellent and paramount in having the case dismissed. Highly recommended.” T.C.
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