How to be a Great Witness for an Ontario Criminal Case

When testifying in a criminal case, it is important to know how to be a good witness.  This may seem as simple as answering questions when asked, and while this is certainly the basis of testifying, being on the witness stand can involve much more than you may think.  The most important aspect of testifying in a criminal case is to tell the truth.

When asked a question, answer directly.  Make sure that you speak confidently and loud enough that you will be properly understood.  It is easy to become nervous and stumble over your words.  Remain calm and take a moment to think about your answer if you feel this will help you respond correctly.

If you did not hear a question properly, or if you do not understand a particular question, ask for it to be repeated.  It is better to admit that you did not hear or do not understand, than to respond inappropriately.  If you don’t know the answer to a question or if you can’t remember something, be honest.  Don’t make up an answer and say something that you know to be untrue.  If you don’t know or don’t remember, say so.

In terms of Courtroom decorum, you should dress appropriately when testifying.  This means that you should dress as if you were going to an interview.  Wearing the proper attire for Court establishes a sense of etiquette and respect.  You should always be polite and respectful of the Judge and other criminal lawyers present and always maintain a calm and polite demeanour.

While testifying in a criminal case can be overwhelming and maybe a little intimidating, if you remember these tips on how to be a good witness, you will feel more at ease and deliver a better testimony.  If you behave appropriately and answer truthfully, you will provide the Court with an honest and helpful testimony.

How to Testify as a Witness in Ontario Court

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER –

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Witnesses are an important part of the criminal prosecution process in Ontario. Some of my high-profile clients over the years, including Charles Guité and Karlheinz Schreiber, have been key witnesses who needed to hire legal counsel.

I have extensive experience in trial settings, and working with witnesses specifically, so I can tell you that acting as a witness is not as easy as it might look. That’s why I’ve prepared a new article for anybody seeking information and advice on this subject: Providing Witness Testimony in Criminal Court.

This article explains in-depth the five strategies you need to use if you want to deliver a compelling and effective testimony in Ontario court:

  1. Answer truthfully.
  2. Speak loudly and maintain eye contact.
  3. Don’t continue if you are interrupted.
  4. Don’t let lawyers pressure you.
  5. Be courteous and respectful.

As a witness, you must provide accurate and truthful information. That’s a big responsibility, and it’s certainly one that you must take seriously.

If you’ve been charged with an Ontario criminal defence and have doubts about witnesses in the case – either yours or the Crown’s – it’s important to get in touch with a top criminal defence lawyer who can go over the witnesses and other case information with you. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

How Do I Testify As a Witness at Ontario Criminal Court?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Witnesses are often called to testify, by both the defence and the Crown, in Ontario criminal proceedings such as trials and preliminary hearings. Lawyers, judges, and juries rely on witnesses for an understanding of the events that led to criminal charges.

Being called upon to testify can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time. You are probably wondering how to best provide your testimony.

There are a number of strategies you can use to deliver your testimony as a witness in criminal court. Here are the five most important ones:

  1. Answer truthfully. Do not lie or leave out details – in fact, doing so is a criminal offence and can result in charges. If you are uncertain of an answer, indicate that you are uncertain. The same applies if you do not recall the answer.
  2. Speak loudly and maintain eye contact. Your testimony will go over better if you are addressing the judge or jury directly. They’ll get the impression that you’re doing just that if you keep your eyes on them while talking, and speak in a clear tone loud enough for them to hear.
  3. Don’t continue if you are interrupted. Court reporters or lawyers present may ask you to stop speaking so that they can get caught up. At this point, you should stop speaking – remain silent until the reporter has caught up.
  4. Don’t let lawyers pressure you. Lawyers may use tactics to make you feel pressured – especially if they are cross-examining you. Ignore that pressure and be calm. Remember that you have the right to take time on each answer.
  5. Be courteous and respectful. Criminal trials and hearings are very serious events, and your behaviour and dress should reflect that. Dress conservatively, avoid wisecracks or jokes, and always use proper addressing (e.g. “Yes, sir,” and “Your Honour.”)

Follow these guidelines, and you’re sure to deliver an effective testimony. Remember that you are there to provide your best possible recollection of events and facts.

If you’ve been charged with an Ontario criminal defence and have doubts about witnesses in the case – either yours or the Crown’s – it’s important to get in touch with a top criminal defence lawyer who can go over the witnesses and other case information with you. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Standing Granted at Oliphant Commission

Richard Auger will act as co-counsel with Eddie Greenspan at the Oliphant Commission.    The Commission was struck to consider Certain Allegations Respecting Business and Financial Dealings between Karlheinz Schreiber and the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney.

Richard’s client has been granted standing to appear in Part 1 of the Commission.

Richard Auger has represented many key witnesses before Federal and other commissions of inquiry.  He appears with and on behalf of witnesses.  He also gives advice to witnesses appearing before Parliamentary Committees and other public bodies.  If you would like to consult with Mr. Auger about an appearance before an inquiry or similar body contact him at [email protected] or 613-233-4529.