Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Testifying in Court. Testifying in Court To effectively testify in court: Be prepared. Look professional. Act professionally. Attempts."— Presentation transcript:
Testifying in Court To effectively testify in court: Be prepared. Look professional. Act professionally. Attempts will be made to discredit or impeach the testimony of the security officer in court.
Sequence of a Criminal Trial Jury selection. Opening statements by prosecution and defense. Prosecution’s case presentation. Defense’s case presentation. Closing statements by prosecution and defense. Instructions to jury. Jury deliberation to reach verdict. Reading of verdict. Acquittal or passing of sentence.
Case Presentation Direct examination: the initial questions of a witness or defendant by the lawyer who is using the person’s testimony to further his or her case. Cross-examination: Questioning by the opposing side for the purpose of assessing the validity of the testimony.
Inadmissible Statements Opinion (unless witness is qualified as an expert). Hearsay. Privileged communication. Statements about character and reputation, including the defendant’s past criminal record.
Effective Testimony Speak clearly, firmly and with expression. Answer questions directly. Do not volunteer information. Pause briefly before answering. Refer to your notes if you do not recall exact details. Admit calmly when you do not know an answer. Admit any mistakes you make is testifying. Avoid jargon, sarcasm and humor. Tell the complete truth as you know it.
Using Notes Refer to your notes if you are uncertain of specific facts, but do not rely on them excessively.
Nonverbal Elements in Testimony Important nonverbal elements include: Dress. Eye contact. Posture. Gestures. Distance. Mannerisms. Rate of speech. Tone of voice.
Strategies for Testifying Set yourself up. Provoke the defense into giving you a chance to explain. Be unconditional. Do not stall.
Cross-Examination by the Defense The defense attorney may: Be disarmingly friendly or intimidatingly rude. Attack your credibility and impartiality. Attack your investigative skill. Attempt to force contradictions or inconsistencies. Ask leading questions or deliberately misquote you. Ask for a simple answer to a complex question. Use rapid-fire questioning. Use the silent treatment.
Cross-Examination by the Defense Avoid conclusions and nonresponsive answers. Answer yes-or-no questions with “yes” or “no.”
Summary Questions What is important in testifying in court? What is the usual sequence of a criminal trial? What is direct examination? Cross- examination? What kinds of statements are inadmissible in court? How can one testify most effectively?
Summary Questions When should you use notes when testifying? What nonverbal elements can influence courtroom testimony positively and negatively? What strategies can make testifying in court more effective? What defense attorney tactics should an officer anticipate?