Law Offices of Gabriel H. Avina

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Friday, June 1, 2012

George Zimmerman's Bond Revoked: Credibility and Impeachment

This afternoon news outlets have reported that George Zimmerman's bond has been revoked for deceiving the court regarding his finances and the fact that Zimmerman possesses a second passport.

Los Angeles attorney  Gabriel H. Avina says that this incident could be significant as the prosecution of George Zimmerman moves forward because it could be used by prosecutors in future proceedings to impeach Zimmerman.

Impeachment in legal proceedings is the process of discrediting the a witness, for example by catching that witness in a lie or demonstrating that the witness has been untruthful in the past. When an attorney impeaches a witness during questioning before the court, this results in undermining the credibility of the witness in the eyes of those charged with determining the facts of a case (either the jury or the judge in a bench trial). When the credibility of a witness is undermined, this casts doubt on the accuracy or authenticity of the evidence from that witness.

As George Zimmerman's case moves forward, the prosecution may be able to find ways to use the misrepresentations of Zimmerman to the court in this bond incident to impeach Zimmerman's credibility before the court or before a jury. The prosecution could use this incident as a useful tool to cast doubt on Zimmerman's version of events in this case.

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