Giving evidence in court.... advice sought

  1. Ladies and Gents,

    I witnessed a vicious assault this time last year and now have to spend tomorrow and thursday giving evidence in court. I've never been to court before for anything and so am quite stressed about it, and the witness service have been useless - less than useless in fact!
    Anyone got any words of advice? What should I wear? The fact is, the assault was directly outside my house and the defendent lives on my road so I'm petrified :crybaby: What should I expect in court?

    Thanks Guys & Gals!

    Stevie xx
  2. Hiya Stevie,

    A few of my friends were in the same position as you a few months ago, something serious happened in my community involving 8 men that we all knew well and had grown up with, they had to give evidence against them in court as they were witnesses to it, one of my friends in particular was extremely stressed about the situation as she felt she was betraying them, but all you can do is be strong and tell the truth, there's nothing else you can do, and don't be scared of the defendent, your doing the right thing even though it may be hard,

    hope this helps

    also on what to wear, just look smart, dont try too hard, just look presentable
  3. I agree, don't stress yourself out. I had to give a deposition one on something similar and I was making myself so nervous that I was studdering and just looking foolish and probably non-credible due to this.

    They're gonna ask you the specific questions they want you to answer so just do calmly and try to make sure that you remember exactly what you saw so you can answer easily.

    Hope this helps! ggod luck.
  4. hi stevie, i'm an attorney myself, and i can really understand your feeling.

    I agree with xhollieax, just be strong, try to relax and tell the truth. Dont overly say things that you dont know or not surely know, try always to answer the question given to you clearly, and do not add anything not necessary.

    And about the dress, i recommend you to wear something that you feel mostly comfortable wearing, but also polite and pleasant looking. If you're skin tone is good with dark colours, wear dark colours, but dont wear black. Good luck for you, :smile:
  5. First of all, thank you for doing the right thing. In a society where people are becoming more apt to turn away then stand up and do the right thing I applaud you.

    Try to stay calm, have courage of conviction, tell the truth and.....breathe.

    Good luck :smile:
  6. Make sure you bring a book, it sounds like there might be a lot of waiting. And I agree, just wear something comfortable but no sloppy. I have been to the courthouse a lot of times, and it is not really a place filled with snappy dressers (at least not country court, circuit court, etc).
  7. Wow! I want to commend you on doing what is right even though it must be sooo scary.

    It is very brave of you to help the assault victim get justice.

    I recommend that you wear something that you would wear to a job interview...conservative. Maybe pull your hair back (if you have longer hair).

    Just be calm...don't drink a lot of caffeine or eat sugar before...maybe a banana and toast??

    Good luck! I wish you all the best :smile:
  8. Bring a snack with you in your purse, in case you get hungry. A granola bar travels well.

    Also, I'd write down some notes to keep with you. That way you can have them to make sure you don't forget anything that is important.
  9. And hopefully the attorney will give you a rundown on what's going to happen.
  10. Are you worried that the Defendant might retailiate against you for testifying in Court? If that's the case, do voice your concern to the prosecutor and the police officer/detective. The detective who dealt with the case should be there in court sitting with the prosecutor.

    Good luck! Remember the defense attorney will try very hard to intimidate you, so stay calm!

  11. Hi everyone thanks for the luck and the advice, I get to go over my statement tomorrow before going in to court which is good because my memories are distinctly hazy! I've got an essay to write so I'm going to take a notepad and do some work while I sit and wait :yes: Even though it is unseasonably warm here I think I'm going to wear some fairly lightweight tweed trousers, a black fitted shirt and some basic black pointy flat shoes.

    Thanks everyone! xx
  12. Yeah I've told the officer in charge and the witness support woman about my concerns. Neither of them bothered to contact me about them & I am fed up of leaving messages and not hearing back from emails. :shrugs: I guess we'll just see what happens tomorrow,
  13. You are doing a good thing. Be confident up there. When answering, be short and straight to the point, and be clear enough to answer the question. Do not let the lawyer intimidate you or make you feel uncomfortable. If the lawyer says something you don't understand, ask him/her politely if they could repeat it. I am sure you will do fine! And remember, it's all just a game. Good luck!
  14. You'll all be glad to hear that all witnesses called arrived at court and the defendent changed her plea to guilty. It was her first offence so although the victim was intensely traumatised by the attack and had to spend £4,000 on having an operation to fix her nose the defendent received an 8 month referral order (?) and has to pay the victim £550. SO glad it is all over!

    Thankyou so much for the advice and support, as always :flowers: