Will I have to testify in court?

Maybe. Your testimony would be required during a trial, or possibly at a special hearing date. However, only a small percentage of criminal cases actually go to trial. The majority of defendants eventually admit guilt in criminal cases and plead guilty. Commonly, this occurs in one of two ways: in a negotiated plea, the prosecutor and the defense agree to a sentence. and they present the plea to the judge for approval; alternatively, defendants sometimes simply plead guilty and the judge determines the sentence. If the defendant maintains his or her innocence in court and requests that the State prove criminal charges at trial, then victims and witnesses are subpoenaed to testify in court. Even if there is no trial, however, witness testimony is sometimes necessary or appropriate. For example, if the defendant pleads guilty to a crime, the victim of a violent crime may want to present a victim impact statement at the time of the plea or at the sentencing hearing.

Show All Answers

1. What do I do if I just had a crime committed against me?
2. Who investigates a crime?
3. Who determines what crime to charge the defendant?
4. What is an indictment?
5. What is an arraignment?
6. Will the defendant be sentenced the same day he/she is found guilty of a violent crime?
7. What is a sentencing hearing?
8. What is a pre-sentence investigation report (PSI)?
9. What happens if the defendant is sentenced to the Department of Corrections (prison)?
10. How much actual time will a defendant serve on his incarceration sentence in the department of corrections (prison)?
11. Will the defendant be ordered to pay restitution?
12. If restitution is ordered how does it get to the victim?
13. How long does the defendant get to pay restitution?
14. What happens if restitution is not paid?
15. What is the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Compensation Program and who is eligible?
16. Will I have to testify in court?
17. What do I do if I receive a subpoena to testify?
18. What should I do if the defense attorney or investigator contacts me?
19. What are the responsibilities of a witness to a crime?
20. How long will I be in court?
21. Can a friend or relative be in court when I testify?
22. Will the defendant be in the courtroom when I testify?