Prosecuting Attorney > Witness > Tips for Testifying

Tips for Testifying

  1. Tell the truth: The truth is the easiest to repeat because the truth does not change. If you don’t remember, say that you don’t remember. Do not guess. Do not make up an answer. Do not exaggerate. If you make a mistake, clarify it as soon as possible.
     
  2. Dress nicely: Wear clothes that would be acceptable for work or church. A neat appearance and proper dress in court give an important first, and lasting, impression. See our FAQ for what you are not allowed to wear.
     
  3. Be prepared: Think about the incident and what happened so that you can recall the details accurately when you are asked in court. If you have already written a statement for the police, ask the Assistant Prosecutor for a copy; reading it may jog your memory on some details. Think ahead of time about the answers you will give to the questions you expect will be asked. Do not try to memorize what you will say in court.
     
  4. Relax: You have nothing to fear when telling the truth.
     
  5. Do not lose your temper: Be courteous. Do not let the defense lawyer upset you. It may seem at times that he is trying to pin you down, but s/he has the right to test how many of the facts you know and accurately remember.
     
  6. Answer only the questions asked: If you can answer a question with a single yes or no, do so. Do not volunteer additional information.
     
  7. Listen: Be sure you understand the question. If you do not understand, ask that the quest be repeated or rephrased.


Contact Information

St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney
201 McMorran Blvd., Suite 3300
Port Huron, MI 48060

Phone: (810) 985-2400
Fax: (810) 985-2424
Email: Prosecuting Attorney

Photos courtesy of the Port Huron Times Herald and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department