Courtroom Procedures

When Testifying

  • One of the basic rules in a criminal case is that both sides have the chance to question the witness. Questions asked by both sides have the same goal: to find out what is true.
  • Don’t let the defense lawyer upset you. It may seem at times that he is trying to pin you down, but he has the right to test how many facts you know and remember.
  • Answer all questions to the point. It is the responsibility of each lawyer to bring out the truth by asking questions.
  • If you can answer a question with a single yes or no do so. Answer only the questions asked. Do no volunteer additional information.
  • If you don’t know the answer to the questions, say so. Do not guess or speculate.
  • If you don’t understand or didn’t hear the question, ask that it be explained or repeated.
  • If either lawyer raises an objection, stop speaking at once. After the Judge has ruled, you will be asked to go on.