FSV Victim / Witness Information
Preparation for Court
- Please be on time. Consider travel time and parking availability well in advance.
- Spend some time recalling relevant facts.
- Dress neatly.
- Stay away from jurors. Don't talk to jurors, even on a subject not connected with the case.
- Don't be discouraged by delays.
Testimony in Court
- Tell the truth. Do not exaggerate. Anything but the truth can discredit a witness or victim and weaken the case.
- Pay attention. Listen carefully and ask for an explanation if you don't understand the question.
- Answer only the question asked. Don't volunteer information during your testimony. Tell pertinent information to the Prosecuting Attorney prior to being called to testify.
- Take your time. Think about your answer.
- Don't guess. If you don't know, say you don't know.
- Explain your answer if necessary. If you can't answer correctly with a simple "yes" or "no", ask the judge if you can explain.
- "Have you talked to anyone about the case"? Answer frankly. Mention the police, prosecutor, investigators, the victim, family, and anyone else you may have discussed the case with.
- Be serious.
- Speak clearly and loudly. Don't shake your head for "Yes" or a "No".
- Don't lose your temper. Stay calm.
- Be yourself. Judges, jurors, and attorneys appreciate sincerity.
- Stop talking when the judge interrupts you or an attorney objects to a question
- Don't give conclusions or opinions.
This type of behavior is particularly common in family and sexual violence cases, but occasionally (although rarely) happens in other types of criminal cases. It is a crime to attempt to prevent or prevent a victim, and in some situations, a witness, from reporting a crime or testifying in a criminal case. This crime is called Victim or Witness Tampering (RSMo 575.270). The Prosecuting Attorney's Office and other allied professionals may also attempt to address the tampering by seeking additional bond, bond conditions, or other remedies.
The Prosecuting Attorney and other allied professionals can't confront situation unless and until the Prosecuting Attorney or other allied professionals know about it. If you have been contacted, harassed or threatened regarding your involvement in a criminal case, you should immediately contact the law enforcement agency that investigated the case, or Prosecuting Attorney that is handling the case. If you do not know who is handling your case, you can locate the local Prosecuting Attorney's office by clicking here
Victim & witness tampering comes in many forms including but not limited to:
- requests not to report the crime
- requests not to testify
- requests to change your testimony
- threats of physical, financial or other harm
- gifts, money or other benefits to keep quiet, change your testimony or refuse to testify
You should report this behavior as soon as possible so that the situation can be documented and appropriate action taken.
If you are in immediate danger you should call 911