Being a witness in court can feel very overwhelming, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. Here’s an overview of some of the key points you should know.
Before the Trial
Someone, and who that is depends on who you are a witness for, will let you know which court to be at and when. If you’re the victim of a crime or you’re a witness for the prosecution, then you’ll have a ‘witness care officer’ to give you the details. For a witness for the defence, the defence lawyer will let you know.
If you’re either the victim or a witness for the prosecution, you can always ask the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to see your statement again so you can refresh your memory before you have to be in court. It’s worth remembering that you can add things to your statement later on, but you cannot remove it.
If you’re a victim of crime, you can also make a victim personal statement. This can include information on how the crime has affected you physically, emotionally and financially. You can also mention any worries you may have about the possibility of bail for the defendant.
You might have a number of questions about how to get to and from court, how to take time off work or how it may impact your childcare plans. Either speak to your witness care officer, who can deal with any issues, or if you’re a witness for the defence, you’ll need to speak to the defence lawyer as soon as you can. There are many solicitors Gloucester who you could be in contact with as defence lawyers, such as https://www.deeandgriffin.co.uk/, and they’ll be happy to support you in the process.
There’s plenty of advice and information on going to court as a witness through Citizen’s Advice.
Whilst it can be worrying to go to court as a witness, whatever the situation, it’s important to remember that you’re simply there to tell the court what you have seen. You are most likely being asked to give your evidence, because the evidence you have to give is important and will be in the interest of justice for you to do so.