Does the witness of a crime have rights? What should I do if
I am afraid to testify?
Yes, a witness has certain rights. For information
on the rights of crime victims and witnesses, contact The
Board of Victim Services or the victim/witness
coordinator of State's Attorney office. If you are afraid to testify,
you should contact the State's Attorney for assistance. What happens if I get a subpoena to appear as a witness?
A subpoena to appear as a witness is a court order and
must be obeyed. Failure to appear in court in response
to a subpoena could place you in contempt of court.
The subpoena may contain information or instructions
about the trial. You should try to follow these instructions
as it may save you time. What should I do if I am unable to appear on the scheduled
You should contact the attorney who has called you
as a witness as soon as possible. If you are being
called as a witness for the state, contact the State's Attorney in the county where the trial
I have to appear in court if I already gave a statement
before the trial or gave a statement to the police?
Under our system of justice, the law requires a witness
to appear in court and present the evidence under
oath. In this way all parties in the case have an
opportunity to question the witness. So even though
you may have given a statement about the facts of
the case, your presence at the trial is still necessary.
Want to know when an offender is released from jail, has an upcoming court hearing, or has changes to his/her parole or probation?
Call VINE for information or to sign up for free phone or email alerts!
Toll-Free (866) 634-8463 — TTY (866) 847-1298 — http://www.vinelink.com
The Maryland VINE is a project provided to you by Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Board of Victim Services. http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/selfhelp/disclaimer.html
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