Are you entitled to a new trial when a witness recants their testimony? If the defendant can satisfy a three-part test, it is possible to get a new trial.
New Trial Based on Recanting Witness
Are you entitled to a new trial when a witness recants the testimony given at trial? The answer is maybe. In the case of United States v Bass, which was decided in April 2015, Bass was convicted of credit card fraud. His co-defendant recanted his trial testimony against Bass. The trial court held a hearing and concluded that the recantation was not credible and the conviction was affirmed. The court of appeals agreed stating that recant was not credible. The court held that the granting of “a new trial based on witness recantation depends on three factors: (1) the testimony was material and false, (2) the jury would have reached a different conclusion without the testimony, and (3) the party seeking the new trial was surprised by the false testimony and was not aware of its falsity until after the trial.”
To successfully obtain a ruling granting a new trial, the defense lawyer must be prepared with enough evidence to satisfy the three-part test used in federal court. Judges, at the trial and appellate levels, will bend over backward and twist their legal analysis in a knot to maintain a conviction. Without a defense attorney who is knowledgeable, prepared, and tenacious, the defendant does not have a shot at getting this type of extraordinary relief.
Specializing in ONLY Criminal Defense
There are many nuances in the practice of criminal law and a lot to know. This is why you do not want to trust your future and freedom to an attorney that “multitasks” by practicing in other areas of the law AND criminal law. The finer points of criminal law can run from knowing whether a confidential informant’s information is admissible as evidence, or what to do when a witness recants to being able to properly cross-examine a police officer. This high level of savvy representation and legal ability take years to perfect. There are many hours of study and practice required to be a top of the line criminal defense attorney. The attorneys of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully defending clients in state and federal courts throughout Michigan. Each of the firm’s attorneys has a long and impressive record of success. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. take its role as one of Michigan’s premier criminal defense law firms very seriously. We will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.