Tips on Testifying
- Dress appropriately - The way you present yourself is a reflection on you. It is to your advantage to dress neatly and conduct yourself in a courteous manner.
- Tell the truth - If called to testify, listen carefully to the questions asked of you. Make sure you understand each question and give an accurate answer to the best of your ability. If you do not know the answer, be sure to say so.
- Speak loudly and clearly - It is the duty of the attorney to make a question answerable. If you did not hear the question or understand it, ask the attorney to repeat it. Stop speaking immediately if an objection is made by one of the attorneys.
- Be courteous and keep calm - Try to remain calm and do not lose your temper. Being polite makes a good impression. Do not argue with the attorneys or allow yourself to become upset during questioning.
- Do not guess or speculate - Be yourself and answer in your own words. Do not pause or try to figure out if your answer will help or hurt the case.
- Be prepared to wait - The court process can be long and unpredictable; however, your role is a very important one. Your cooperation and patience are necessary.
- Never smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink anything while in the courtroom - Also, do not have alcoholic beverages the day you are to come to court.
- Remember - If the defense attorney makes you feel uneasy, he is just doing his job. You are not on trial and you are in control. It is the defendant is on trial.