Witnesses to alleged crimes in Wisconsin are often required to complete depositions for a court proceeding. If the witness is a child, however, the court may not allow the deposition to be used in court. Here are some of the reasons the court may not hear a child’s deposition.
#1: The child is too young
A child may be too young to comprehend the significance of an event that they witnessed and speak about it coherently. For example, a child could have witnessed some events that led up to drug crimes but not understand what was actually going on.
#2: The child is too close to the people involved
The court will consider a child’s emotional bond with the people involved in a criminal case when determining whether to hear a child’s deposition. If a child’s parent is the person facing charges, the emotional bond may be too close for their testimony to be considered by the court.
#3: The child has post-traumatic stress disorder
A child’s mental health while giving a deposition will be considered by the court. In criminal cases, a child may have gone through traumatic events that cause them to display symptoms of PTSD. These symptoms may create problems in providing accurate testimony.
Consider whether a child’s deposition would help or harm your case
There are circumstances where a child’s eyewitness testimony is beneficial to a defendant. For example, your child may be the only person who can accurately confirm your location on a date in question. If a child’s deposition is being concealed in your case when you think it would benefit your argument, it may be worth adjusting your legal strategy.