Why You Should Agree To Be A Witness

By: Tina J. Jones


What is wrong with you? You have just opened a letter from the Maryland court summoning you to testify in a criminal trial, and now you are pale and apprehensive, and troubled. Hey! You are not going to be put to jail as long as you are not guilty of something against the law. You will just attend the trial and tell about things that you know about the person or people involved. What? Are you afraid of criminal lawyers stereotyped by media to be harassing witnesses in order to get the answer they wish you to say? Are you afraid you cannot deliver the information you are supposed to say because you stammer out of sheer nervousness? You donít need to be a great public speaker to respond positively on an invitation to witness. Thereís nothing to fear. What you need to think about is aim to be of help for the judges to come up with a sound decision.

Give yourself credit for having been chosen as a witness. That means to say the legal court sees you as someone who is credible enough to be listened to. Take not that most of the people inside the courtroom consists of prosecutors, judges, criminal lawyers and other witnesses. People in white-collar jobs do not have the leisure time to listen to stories a blabbermouth is capable of saying. You presence and testimony have been requested for a reason. Your cooperation is highly valued in order for the justice system to work. Thatís what usually happens since witnesses do not show up because of fear without substantiation. Just think of it as your contribution for the common good.

If you decide on telling all out what you know to speed up a case, prepare yourself for a thorough investigation to be conducted by the law enforcement agency. By prepare, I mean you need to ready yourself to not be in shock to the presence and inquisitions of some policemen, which by the way happens to be well-documented. Expect to be asked a lot of questions. Just be yourself, be honest. Itís harder if you lie, you know. When you lie, you need to remember things for consistency, but when you tell the truth, you need not rely on your memory, but your instinct. When a criminal lawyer asks you something in the courtroom, youíll be saying the same things Ė because youíve been honest the whole time.

As a witness subpoenaed by the court to testify, you have the right to say yes to an invitation to speak with criminal lawyers. On the other hand, you can simply turn an invitation down. Nobody can force you to do it. Remember, it is your right to say yes or no. That would keep you calm, at least. When you are inside the trial court, wear something decent. You have to dress the part of someone who is trustworthy enough to be listened to. Be attentive, release your inhibitions and say what you have got to say. Youíll do well.

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Tina Jones is a resident of Maryland. Know more about criminal lawyer Maryland here.

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