Why am I a witness? I didn't see the crime occur.

Witnesses are not limited to "eyewitnesses." Witnesses may be called because they actually saw or heard a crime occur, but they also may know something about a piece of evidence, or may possess information that contradicts another witness' testimony. You may not think that what you know about the case is significant; however, small pieces of information are often required to determine what really happened. If you want to know why you are testifying in a particular case, ask the prosecutor or your victim/witness assistant; there is probably a good reason.

Please keep in mind that your presence and willingness to testify may be the deciding factor in determining what will be done in the case. Many defendants often hope that you or other witnesses will not show up. Sometimes, your mere presence at the courthouse before the trial may be enough for the defendant to plead guilty.

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge?
2. Why am I a witness? I didn't see the crime occur.
3. What if the defense attorney contacts me?
4. I was issued a subpoena for court. What happens if I don't show up?
5. What if my employer won't let me come to court?
6. Can I drop charges?
7. What is a preliminary hearing, and do I need to be there?
8. What is an advisement and why does the victim/witness not have to be present?
9. What is a grand jury and why does the victim/witness not need to be present?
10. Why are some misdemeanor cases not assigned to a prosecutor, leaving the victim/witness without legal representation at the court hearing?