Evidence: Testimonial Evidence: Witnesses: Impeachment: Criminal Convicion

    • Criminal Conviction – A witness may be impeached by proof of a conviction (arrest or indictment is not sufficient) for certain crimes.
      • Federal Rule: If more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of conviction (or release from prison, whichever is later), the conviction is inadmissible. A witness may be impeached for any crime requiring an act of dishonesty or false statement.
        • Any Crimes of Dishonesty or false statement: A crime that involves a lie or betrayal of trust = perjury, false statement, fraud, embezzlement.
        • Felony Not Involving Dishonesty: A witness may also be impeached by a felony that does not involve dishonesty, but the probative value of the conviction must outweigh the risk of unfair prejudice.
          • Balancing Probative Value and Unfair Prejudice:
            • Factors making a conviction probative: Seriousness; relation to trust and deception.
            • Factors making a conviction unfairly prejudicial: Inflammatory nature of the crime; similarity to the currently charged offense.
        • The conviction may be proven with intrinsic evidence (by asking the witness about it on cross examination); and with extrinsic evidence (by introducing a record of the conviction).