Throughout the process of a trial, witness statements are the most important and longest part of the time spent in court, of course other than the jury deliberation towards the end. A witness testimony is a piece of evidence by an involved (to some degree) party in a case according to a criminal lawyer with our friends at The Lynch Law Group who is experienced in this area. Normally, both legal counsel parties will ask the witness questions, and based on the oath taken prior to speaking it is believed that the information given by the witness is the truth. You are not also obligated to speak in a courtroom if you decide, or are called to be a witness; they can also be written and submitted into evidence. If you lie under oath while giving your witness statement this is considered perjury, the information you provide as a witness is looked at as hardcore fact and can be the largest deciding factor in a criminal case so it is imperative that the information provided by you is accurate and correct.
If you have decided to provide a witness statement or are called as a witness in a case, be sure to replay the facts of the incident you have been called to testify about. When your memory is refreshed you are able to give clear and concise details. Attorneys will ask questions that may confuse you; they will even try to manipulate you into saying things that benefit their argument. So it is important to listen carefully to the questions asked of you, they may be asked several ways and several times so you must be sure to have understood what you have answered and that you know what you are talking about.
While this may be your first time as a witness, and testifying in court, always remember to be as truthful as possible and calm your nerves. If you are not asked a question, do not volunteer information. Do not lie under oath, or share your testimony with anyone once you are done. It is wise to speak with an attorney that has experience in the courtroom or cross-examining witnesses. This way, if you are faced with the task of becoming a witness in a case, you know how to testify in court the right way. A skilled attorney will be able to prepare you for the pressures of the courtroom, and also help you practice giving a testimony by questioning you the way opposing counsel may question you in court. You are not obligated to go through this alone.
It is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney near you to protect yourself as a witness. You want to represent the event you witnessed exactly as it happened. Sometimes with nerves involved and an attorney that tries to trick you, you may fall into a trap which causes you to lie without realizing it. A lawyer can ensure that you are fully prepared and know exactly what to expect working as a witness in a case. Contact an attorney near you for help immediately and to ask any questions you may have about being a witness.