Orlando, FL asked in Criminal Law for Florida

Q: How does cross examine work?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin J. Pitts Esq.
Kevin J. Pitts Esq.
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Daytona Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: The party that calls a witness asks questions on direct examination then the opposing party questions the witness on cross examination. It is limited to the scope of the direct examination and the credibility of the witness. You can lead the witness which can be a good time. It requires you to be better on your feet than direct because you react to the answers from the other attorneys questions. Its also not your witness so the answers you get are less structured or rehearsed. Here are some of the basic rules.

(1) The judge shall exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of the interrogation of witnesses and the presentation of evidence, so as to:(a) Facilitate, through effective interrogation and presentation, the discovery of the truth.(b) Avoid needless consumption of time.(c) Protect witnesses from harassment or undue embarrassment.

(2) Cross-examination of a witness is limited to the subject matter of the direct examination and matters affecting the credibility of the witness. The court may, in its discretion, permit inquiry into additional matters.(3) Leading questions should not be used on the direct examination of a witness except as may be necessary to develop the witness's testimony. Ordinarily, leading questions should be permitted on cross-examination. When a party calls a hostile witness, an adverse party, or a witness identified with an adverse party, interrogation may be by leading questions.The judge shall take special care to protect a witness under age 14 from questions that are in a form that cannot reasonably be understood by a person of the age and understanding of the witness, and shall take special care to restrict the unnecessary repetition of questions.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 90.612

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