Witness testimony is considered one of the most important aspects of any case.
Researchers have provided evidence that witness testifying in any given case impacts heavily on the outcome of the case.
The witness, their deposition during the trial, and their words are of immense importance and they can alter the final verdict to a whole 360 degrees.
It is one of the most stressful jobs for a witness to recall and record the ordeal they went through for the given case. This makes the witness extremely vulnerable and at times the pressure and stress can cause severe mental issues in the long term.
Since witness testifying is considered a game-changer, there are a lot of tricks and traps which can impact the testimony during the trial and its deposition.
As stated above, the testimony of the witness can be in your favor or against you, both ways it plays a vital role, therefore, it is important to prepare the witness for a testimony that is according to the rules of the court and is also beneficial in your favor.
How to prepare your witness testifying for a case
It is very important as well as crucial to prepare your witness for a testimony. You need to ensure that the testimony will bring an outcome in your favor.
It is a common notation that the attorneys prepare their witnesses for testifying beforehand but that requires a lot of facts grinding and strategy.
Sometimes all the preparation goes down the drain when the vulnerability of the witness testifying brings out the emotions resulting in the testimony going haywire.
It is very critical to address a witness to testify in such a way that his cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses are aligned with the case details.
Sometimes the preparation of the witness is not enough by the attorneys and because of the emotional trauma attached to the crime or the case – psychological help is required.
Attorneys take help from trained psychologists to assess the mental condition of the witness and train him according to his condition and preferences.
The behavioral response of the witness is key when it comes to the testimony. Therefore, it is immensely important to give effective training to the witness.
Effective training might cost a lot but nobody can deny the outcome of a witness who is all prepared to dodge and deal with the attacks made by the opposition party’s attorneys.
The opposing attorneys can make all types of attacks on the witness such as neurocognitive, direct, emotional, etc. The effective training becomes apparent as it prepares the witness to fight back and deal with the situation thrown at him promptly and wisely.
Why does a witness require effective training?
Even the most experienced attorneys sometimes think that they can handle the witness on their own and they are well aware of the consequences so no effective training is required as it is a costly job.
But this is not the case often, there are situations that are more aggravated and out of the domain of the attorneys, and for that, it is necessary for an attorney to seek help ineffective training of the witness.
The emotional baggage of the witness sometimes is too much to be handled by an attorney – that’s when effectiveness training comes into the picture.
There are many kinds of witnesses such as angry witnesses, scared witnesses, those witnesses who do not want to be questioned, and a lot of witnesses whose mental trauma is so grave that they are not in the right state of mind to be questioned.
Attorneys cannot deal with these kinds of issues on their own and for that psychological help is mandatory.
A psychologist can actually assess the exact condition of the witness and can deal with it. A psychologist will make the witness have a thought process and an ability to think properly and control over their emotions and behaviors when they are required to testify.
The best way to prepare a witness is by giving them psychology-based effective training.
The cost of effective training of a witness
The cost of the effective training preparation of a witness depends upon the witness and the gravity of the case in hand.
At times effective training can cost up to $30,000 and that is very expensive.
Sometimes the client asks whether it is necessary to go for effective training for the witness, the answer is simple – Yes.
It does put a dent in the pocket but it is totally worth it in the long run.
How to engage a witness to testify for you?
If you have been falsely charged for a felony or a crime or a misdemeanor and are looking for concrete ways to defend yourself in court then you need help! The help that will prove that you did not commit the said crime.
The circumstances are different in different case scenarios but you need to work to prove your innocence in court. There are certain factors that should be kept in mind while defending yourself. They are:
- You need to get a legal team or attorney to represent you and defend you. This is the best possible way to get experienced legal help which will ensure that you are on the road to proving your innocence.
- You need to back up evidence that will support your case and make it stronger. The evidence plays a strong role in proving yourself innocent or guilty. A witness testifying in the court can help you eradicate the charges against you instantly.
How to get someone to testify for you?
If you want someone to testify for you, the foremost thing to do is to approach them in a positive manner and ask!
In various cases, witnesses are close family members or friends, and they readily want to testify on your behalf. At times a shopkeeper or a passerby voluntarily comes forward to justify so that justice can be served.
If a witness comes forward voluntarily, this embarks a lot of advantages. For instance, no need to pay or offer any subpoena to the witness who came forward voluntarily.
The volunteer witness is very cooperative and feels compelled to give out his version as a testimony.
Can a witness refuse to testify?
Every witness in the world has a constitutional right to remain silent. According to the Fifth Amendment of the U.S Constitution, every American citizen is entitled to remain silent as per his wish.
If a witness thinks that him answering the queries will involve him in the case and might get him into trouble, he has all the right to exercise his right of declining any demand of answering any perturbing question.
There are various reasons under which a witness might refuse to cooperate or testify staying under the parameters of legalities.
A witness can refuse to comply with the request of testifying if it can cause self-incrimination. Apart from that, a marital privilege is also given to spouses – they can decline to testify against each other legally.
The need for an expert witness
In criminal cases, at times a defendant required testimony from an expert witness who is proficient in providing all the grave details of the case such as explanations in details, technical and scientific details as well as providing all the insights of the incident to the judges and the attorneys.
The criminal attorneys and defense attorneys work profusely with medical examiners, ballistics experts, toxicologists, and many other specialists to provide foolproof testimony to make the case strong.
Expert witnesses provide a fruitful outcome in the court, however, they charge heavily for their expertise and time. The expert witnesses are well paid for their precious time as well as the expenses incurred by them.
It is very important to consider beforehand whether a case is so twisted that expert witness testimony is mandatory or not?
As it is a costly decision, it is important to analyze the situation in the hands and then opt for the expert witnesses accordingly.
If you are hiring an expert witness to testify, make sure that you understand the gravity of the situation as it will cost you. To acquire an expert witness testimony, it is necessary to arrange the payment beforehand.
A witness testifying and expert defense attorney goes hand in hand when it comes to laying a foundation to win a case and prove your innocence in court.
It is up to the attorney or the lawyer to decide if expert witness testimony will be needed or a simple eye witness statement will do the job.
Sometimes it is very important to provide effective training to the witness so that he can combat the pressurizing questions of the opposition in the court and can defend his verdict accordingly.
Witness testimony can always turn the tables and is considered one of the most important aspects of any case. Therefore, immense importance is given to this side of the case and attorneys actually work hard to revolve their cases around witness testimonies.
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