Can a criminal defendant take the deposition of a co criminal defendant involved in the same criminal case?

Asked over 1 year ago - West Palm Beach, FL

can a criminal defendant take the deposition of a co criminal defendant involved in the same criminal case?

Attorney answers (11)

  1. Mark Elias Nejame

    Contributor Level 8

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. Both defendants have 5th Amendment rights under the Constitution. An individual can not be compelled to testify against himself/herself.

  2. Christopher Robert Dillingham II

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. You can cross-examine him if he is a witness against you or have him testify for you if he is willing to do so, but you cannot compel him to testify against himself.

  3. Adrienne M. Bucchi

    Contributor Level 4

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Everyone has the right to remain silent. So the answer is no unless, that co-defendant becomes a listed witness against you, then you can take that deposition. Usually, this happens after that co-defendant closes their case or enters an agreement with the State Attorney.

  4. Michael Lee Weimorts

    Contributor Level 11

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . During the period that the co-defendant's case is pending, he cannot be compelled to speak about the incident in question. Following his plea and the expiration of the appeal period, it may be possible to take his deposition.

    Some of the statements made by the co-conspirator may constitute an exception to the hearsay rule, thus allowing their admission at trial.

  5. William Emil Cassara

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. The co-defendant will not agree to answer any questions.

    This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney... more
  6. Richard Earl Hornsby

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer is 100% yes. Does the co-defendant have to answer any questions, the answer is 100% no. See the above incorrect answers for why the co-defendant does not have to answer any questions (but could if they wanted to).

  7. Jason M. Melton

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Absolutely not. Both have protection under 5th amendment.

  8. Ira D Karmelin

    Contributor Level 3

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Can you take your co-defendant's deposition: absolutely. Can your co-defendant invoke his/her right to remain silent and refuse to answer your questions: absolutely. As you can see, while you have the right to take the deposition, your co-defendant has the right to remain silent. So, unless you want a transcript of "I decline to answer the question based upon my right to remain silent," don't bother. It's simply a waste of time. However, if your co-defendant's case closes before your case is resolved and your co-defendant is no longer subject to any type of prosecution, then you can depose the "former co-defendant" and (s)he will be required to answer the questions.

  9. Michael Adam Haber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with all of my esteemed colleagues. That said, I like Michael Weimorts answer most.

  10. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . NO

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  11. Jose A. Izquierdo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you can take the deposition of a co-defendant but the co-defendant can invoke their right to remain silient. This may change if the co-defendant has pled their case and your case is ongoing.

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