Q: In a criminal trespass and vandalism case can I use a written statement from my neighbor?
Defendant pleaded not guilty after being arrested for drunk in public and open container, also trespassed and vandalized my wifes license plate but I did not see him do it, my neighbor did and i dont want to have to drag my neighbor to court
A: Very few misdemeanor cases result in the witness having to come in to meet with the prosecutor or testify in a court proceeding. I would say less than 2% of misdemeanor cases in New York State result in the witness having to appear in person. Usually, the prosecutor is able to interview witnesses via phone. Then, the prosecutor will send the witness a copy of criminal court complaint and a separate document called a "supporting deposition." The witness will have to sign a "supporting deposition" under the penalty of perjury to confirm that the criminal court complaint is correct.
So yes, a sworn statement from your neighbor is sufficient to move the case along, but the written statement will have to be drafted by the prosecutor. The neighbor will have to appear at trial, if the case gets that far. The changes of that, however, are very slim.
Dimitrios Makridis agrees with this answer
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