Testifying in Court - Information for Witnesses
If you are requested to attend court to testify as a witness, you will be required to make a statement based on personal knowledge and facts. You are required to tell the truth about the facts of the case as you know them. Your only role is to be honest and tell the whole truth.
A witness’s testimony is critical to convicting the person who committed the crime. It is also essential to having the investigation and trial move fairly and efficiently.
As a witness, you will not be allowed to watch the preliminary hearing. And you will not be allowed to watch the trial until after you have given your testimony. This is to prevent you from being influenced by what other witnesses say in court.
Once you provide your testimony, your obligation to the court as a witness is usually over.
You may be asked to attend court as a witness for Crown counsel or defence counsel.
If you have been called to be a Crown witness, this means you will be part of the Crown case, also referred to as the prosecution case. The Crown will ask you questions first. This is direct examination. The defence counsel may also ask you questions. This is cross examination.
For more information about testifying and appearing in court, including helpful tips, visit: