Victims Information
Guidance for Victims & Witnesses
Preparation for Court
  • 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.
Testimony in Court
  • 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.
Witness Intimidation

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
(213) 974-7499

District Attorney Witness Assistance
(213) 974-3575