Preparing for Court

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What do I need to do?

If you are subpoenaed for court, you are required to attend (If you need intercession with your employer, contact our office and we would be happy to provide a letter for you). If you have questions about whether your testimony is needed, contact our office. Many questions about your case can be answered by a Victim/Witness advocate; however we cannot provide legal advice. Due to the volume of cases received, the Commonwealth Attorney prosecuting your case has limited availability. If you would like to set up a meeting with the attorney prosecuting your case, contact the Commonwealth Attorney’s office or Victim/Witness to set up an appointment.

Before court, try to recall the events you witnessed so that you are prepared for the questions that will be asked of you. You may be asked specific dates and times so it is beneficial to refresh your memory ahead of time, especially if a significant amount of time has passed since the crime.

The court does not have child care services; therefore, the only children who should be brought to court are those children involved in the case or whose presence has been requested or required by the court, an attorney or a probation officer.

 

What should I wear?

It is important to show respect for the judicial system in court by dressing in a conservative, dignified, and discreet fashion. Dress should be similar to that when attending church, work, or a nice social function.

Appropriate attire:

  • Suit with tie
  • Sports coat
  • Long sleeve button down shirt and long pants
  • Belt or suspenders to keep up your pants
  • Nice dress or pants suit
  • Conservative top and long slacks or skirt (below knees)

Inappropriate attire:

  • Tank top or muscle shirt
  • Exercise clothing
  • Provocative or sexy clothing, tight tops, short skirts, revealing tops
  • Sundress or strapless dress
  • Crop tops (make sure your belly button is covered)
  • T-shirts (especially those with drug, sex, or beer references)
  • Baseball caps or other hats
  • Jeans, unless they are the only long pants you own
  • Clothing that does not fit you or reveals your underwear
  • Shorts


Testifying in Court

If your case is going to trial, you may have to take the stand as a witness. First you will be asked questions by the Commonwealth’s Attorney and then “cross examined” by the defense attorney.

Answer each question asked of you truthfully. If you do not know the answer or are confused by the question, say so. It is important to speak loudly, slowly and politely. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm, though it is natural to be nervous.

Questions asked during “cross examination” may be repetitive. Try not to become upset and answer each question to the best of your ability. Stop talking immediately if you hear an objection to a question and wait until the judge lets you know if you should answer.