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Police Officer in the Courtroom: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Cross-Examination Through the Proper Preparation and Presentation of Investigative Reports, In-Court Testimony, and Evidence

NCJ Number
Don Lewis
Date Published
237 pages
Written by a trial lawyer, this book is designed as a guide to aid police officers in effectively negotiating the criminal courtroom.
Emphasizing the importance of properly preparing reports and evidence prior to entering the courtroom, this book, written by a trial lawyer with over 30 years experience, serves as a guide to police officers. This book illustrates how closely an officer’s credibility is connected to his or her investigative report and the way that such a report is presented in the courtroom. Designed to guide police officers in the trial process from beginning to end, this book’s first chapter details the trial process itself. The chapter serves as an overview to the courtroom, discussing types of trials, jury selection, opening statements, the roles of the prosecution and defense attorneys, witnesses, rebuttals, closing arguments, jury deliberations, verdicts, and conclusions. The second chapter is an in-depth look at report writing, focusing on how investigative reports are used during criminal trials. This chapter details the organization and preparation of the investigative report by guiding police officers on what to include, step-by-step. In chapter three, the author discusses pre-trial hearings, focusing on the ways that police officers can prepare themselves by understanding the trial issues and by gathering evidence for trial. Chapter four of this book discusses the use of trial exhibits, focusing on the collecting, preserving, categorizing, and types of evidence. In chapter five, the author details direct-examination procedures, discussing appearance and demeanor, rules of evidence, testifying, answering questions, and anticipating defenses. The sixth and last chapter of this book presents an in-depth discussion of the cross-examination procedure, highlighting its purpose and scope, confidential informants, entrapment, and general tactics. The appendix of this book presents a sample DEA report form, and a detailed index.