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Cassia Home :: Judicial :: Prosecuting Attorney :: Victim Rights Witness Role

Your Role as a Witness


As a victim your role as a witness will be crucial in assuring prosecution. If you receive a subpoena you should go to the designated place at the proper time. In a major case the prosecutor may talk with you before the trial to hear the facts as you know them.

Even if you do not wish to testify, the prosecutor may continue to prosecute the case. This is because crimes are against society as well as crimes against victims. The prosecutor may subpoena you as a witness.

If you testify, try to remember the following tips for effective testimony:

  • Always tell the truth. Do not guess at the answer or offer your opinion unless the judge asks you to do so. If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply say that you do not know

  • Think before you speak. Make sure you understand the question. Answer only the question asked and then stop. Don’t memorize your answers.

  • Speak up loud enough for everyone in the courtroom to hear you. Answer questions out loud so the tape recorder picks them up instead of nodding your head.

  • Stop talking if an attorney objects or if the judge interrupts. Begin when the judge tells you to continue. If you have forgotten the question, ask for it again.

  • If you are asked whether you have discussed the case with anyone, answer truthfully. It is permissible to have talked with police, prosecutor, family and friends.


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