Tips for Testifying in Court

  • BE PREPARED: Close your eyes and try to picture the exact scene. Tell what happened in your own words. Ask to see your written statement If you made one.
  • SPEAK CLEARLY AND LOUDLY: Take a deep breath and relax before you answer any question. If you did not hear the question or did not understand the question, ask the Attorney to repeat the question.
  • ONLY ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT IS ASKED: Do not volunteer more information. If one of the Attorneys ask you a question to which there is an objection, do not answer until the Judge says it is OK to answer.
  • DO NOT GUESS OR SPECULATE: If you do not know the answer to a question, say so.
  • BE COURTEOUS: Try to remain calm and do not lose your temper. Be polite.
  • DRESS APPROPRIATE FOR COURT: Dress comfortably and appropriately for court. It is often cold in the courtroom; you may want to bring a sweater.

If your child has to testify in court:

  • Children can pick up on their parent's feelings. Try to be calm so that your child will be calm through the process as well.
  • Reassure your child that he/she will do fine and the importance to telling the truth about what he/she witnessed and/or experienced.
  • There may be some waiting time involved and depending on the age of the child, you may want to bring snacks, activities, or a book to keep the child engaged while waiting.

Dress Code

  • No flip-fops
  • No tank tops
  • No baseball caps
  • Tuck your shirt in your pants