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
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.