- Please be on time. Consider travel time and parking availability well in advance.
- Prepare, but don't try to memorize answers. Just spend some time recalling relevant facts.
- Dress neatly.
- Don't chew gum or talk with your hands in front of your mouth.
- Stay away from jurors. Don't talk to jurors, even on a subject not connected with the case.
- Don't be discouraged by delays.
- Tell the truth. Never exaggerate. Anything but the truth can discredit a witness or victim and weaken the case.
- Pay attention. Listen carefully and ask for an explanation if you don't understand the question.
- Answer only the question asked. Don't volunteer information during your testimony. Tell pertinent information to the Deputy District Attorney prior to being called to testify.
- Take your time. Think about your answer.
- Don't guess. If you don't know, say you don't know.
- Explain your answer if necessary. If you can't answer correctly with a simple "yes" or "no," ask the judge if you can explain.
- "Have you talked to anyone about the case?" Answer frankly. Mention the police, prosecutor, investigators, the victim, family, and anyone else you may have discussed the case with.
- Be serious.
- Speak clearly and loudly. Don't shake your head for a "Yes" or a "No".
- Don't lose your temper. Stay calm.
- Be yourself. Judges, jurors, and attorneys appreciate sincerity.
- Stop talking when the judge interrupts you or an attorney objects to a question
- Don't give conclusions or opinions. The judge and jury are only interested in facts.
It is a crime to prevent, or attempt to prevent, a witness from cooperating or from testifying. Witnesses should report such actions to the investigating officer and/or prosecutor who will provide protection and prosecute the crime.
District Attorney Victim-Witness Assistance
District Attorney Witness Assistance