Firstly, it is important to remember that every deposition and every case is different. There is no guarantee that you will be asked all of these questions, or any of them for that matter. However, these are some common questions that you might want to prepare answers for if you have a deposition coming up.
In general, lawyers will ask you questions about your personal history and questions involving your case. You might think that some of these questions are invasive, but if you have a lawyer present who is representing you, they can help you navigate these questions by helping you prepare. Here is a list of the five most commonly asked questions during a deposition.
- “Have you ever been arrested before?” Generally, prosecutors will ask this question in order to begin painting a picture of your criminal history. If you have been arrested for multiple crimes, especially crimes similar to the one you are currently being charged with, the lawyer might try to use this information against you.
- “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” If you answer yes to the first question, the lawyer might follow up with this one. Again, the lawyer will ask this question to get a sense of your character and criminal history.
- “Have you been deposed in the past?” This may seem like an innocent enough question, but if a lawyer asks it, they are once again trying to determine your criminal history. If you reply, “yes”, the lawyer will probably ask you to elaborate on your prior depositions and cases.
- Embarrassing questions. The lawyer might try to get a rise out of you by asking embarrassing or slanderous questions. Try to remain calm and answer the questions as best as you can. If the questions become wildly inappropriate, your lawyer will put a stop to them.
- Questions about the case. “Where were you on _______ at _______?” “Have you ever met __________ before?” The lawyer will ask questions like this about the case to determine your history with a potential victim/plaintiff and if you have an alibi for the time and date of the crime.
Of course, these are only a few questions that you may be asked during a deposition. Your personal deposition will vary based on what you are being charged with and what the lawyer feels is relevant to the case to ask. Remember that even seemingly harmless questions are calculated to pinpoint your weaknesses. For this reason, your answers should be equally calculated. Of course, you should never lie under oath, but follow the deposition tips that I have touched on in other pages in this section. It is a good idea to seek the help of a lawyer as you go through the deposition and personal injury process.