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Testifying

Often times, victims are called upon to testify on behalf of the prosecution. Below is a list of suggestions that will make the process less intimidating to the victim. Also, it is good to understand what is expected and what will and will not help the prosecution in obtaining a conviction.

 

The following guidelines have been suggested:

  1. Tell the truth. Describe the people, events or places as you remember them. Never guess or speculate about what you saw or heard.
  2. Listen carefully to the questions. Take your time and think about your answer.
  3. Answer only the questions asked. Never volunteer information.
  4. Speak clearly and loudly.
  5. Avoid using street slang.
  6. If you do not understand a question, ask the attorney or Judge that it be repeated or explained.
  7. If you cannot remember certain facts, say so. Do not manufacture testimony.
  8. If an attorney objects to a question, do not answer it until the Judge tells you what to do.
  9. Remember, stay calm and do not lose your temper, even if the attorney seems rude or makes you angry.
  10. Never argue with an attorney or Judge.
  11. Dress appropriately for court. Check with your prosecutor.