Frequently Asked Questions by Victims/Witnesses
Will I have to attend court when I made my statement?
If an offender pleads ‘not guilty’ and the case goes to trial, then there is a requirement for victims/witnesses to attend court and give their evidence verbally even though they have made a statement.
Do I need a solicitor?
No, as a victim/witness you do not need a solicitor. The Crown prosecution service lawyer will deal with the prosecution of the case.
Will I see the defendant in court/will the defendant see me?
Yes, in most cases you will be able to see the defendant.However, if you are a vulnerable witness, we can ask the court for ‘special measures’ such as a screen that will shield you from the view of the defendant. If you have concerns speak to the Witness Care Officer who is dealing with your case.
What happens if I don’t come to court?
If you fail to attend court when required to do so, then this can be a serious matter. The Judge could order that you be brought to court by the police, it could also mean thecase against the offender can’t go ahead . If you have any concerns or difficulties in getting to court then discuss these with the Witness Care Officer who will be able to give you support and provide assistance.
Can I bring a friend or family member with me?
Yes, you can bring someone with you for support.They won’t be able to go into the court room when you give your evidence but can be with you in the waiting area.There will also be members of the witness service at court to give you support.
Can I read my statement before the trial starts?
Yes. The Crown Prosecution Service lawyer will come and see you before the trials starts and you can ask to look at your statement to refresh your memory.
Will there be anywhere to get a drink or something to eat?
Yes, each of the courts has canteen facilities.
Will I have somewhere to wait whilst I am at court?
Yes. All the courts have a witness waiting area where there are volunteers from the witness service to offer support while you are waiting.