If you receive a subpoena to appear in court, you are required by law to attend. Remember your cooperation is very important to the prosecution of the person accused of the crime. Unfortunately, court hearings are often postponed for any number of reasons.
If there are special reasons you are unable to appear in court on the date you have been subpoenaed, please call the Victim Assistance Program immediately and we will work with the Assistant Solicitor General and court staff in trying to make arrangements to change the date of your appearance.
Review the case in your mind a day or two before your court date. It may help to picture the scene in your head so that you can recall it more accurately when you are on the witness stand.
Always Tell the Truth
It is normal to be nervous; the most important thing to remember is to always tell the truth. Even a so-called “minor fabrication” can completely discredit a witness and significantly weaken the entire case.
Look Your Best
A neat appearance and proper dress in court is very important. Dress neatly and conservatively, as if you were going to church. Shorts, tank tops and hats are not allowed in the courtroom. Do not eat, drink, or chew gum in the courtroom.
Be Prepared to Wait
You may want to bring something to read. The court process is unpredictable. Although the attorneys will try to accommodate your schedule, you will likely have to wait for some period of time before you testify.
Be On Your Best Behavior
Often times witnesses are judged by their behavior, both in and out of the courtroom.
Be sure that you understand the question thoroughly before you answer, and then answer only what is asked. If you do not know the answer, do not guess.
Avoid jurors during recess. Under no circumstances should you approach a juror, even though it may be a matter wholly non-related to the case on trial.