Compound Question Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Compound Question, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Compound Question?

In a trial a combination of questions which has different answers asked as one question to confuse the witness is called compound question.An objection can be raised by the defending attorney as the witness may find it difficult to answer such a question.

History and Meaning of Compound Question

A compound question, also known as a complex question or a loaded question, is a question that contains multiple parts or assumptions within it. This type of questioning can be used to confuse or mislead a witness or respondent. The practice of using compound questions in legal proceedings has been recognized as a manipulative and unethical tactic, and it is often disallowed.

Examples of Compound Question

  1. "Have you stopped beating your spouse?" - This is an example of a loaded question, as it assumes that the respondent has been beating their spouse and forces them to answer in a way that confirms either guilt or lying.
  2. "When did you stop stealing from the company and embezzling funds?" - This question assumes that the respondent has engaged in illegal activity and forces them to deny or confess to wrongdoing.
  3. "Do you still enjoy using marijuana and other drugs?" - This question assumes that the individual has engaged in drug use and forces them to admit or deny this without any evidence for or against.

Legal Terms Similar to Compound Question

  1. Leading Question - A question that suggests the answer to the respondent, often by including a statement or assumption within the question itself.
  2. Begging the Question - A logical fallacy in which the conclusion of an argument is assumed within the premise.
  3. False Premise - A statement or assumption that is used as the basis for an argument but is not actually true.