Points to Remember in Court

Ten important items about your appearance in court:

1. Prepare.

Refresh your memory so you can avoid confusion. Before testifying, picture the scene, the objects there, the persons there, and what occurred. If you are asked a question pertaining to distance or time and your answer is an estimate, be sure to state that it is your estimate. 

2. Dress appropriately, act courteously.

Court rules specify that witnesses shall be properly attired. Dress comfortably, but conservatively. 

3. Control your temper.

Losing your temper reduces your credibility as a witness. Remember to stay calm. Stay in control, even if the attorney seems rude or makes you angry. 

4. Be attentive.

If you appear bored or indifferent, the judge or jury may tend to disregard your testimony. 

5. Speak clearly and loudly.

Everyone in the courtroom must be able to hear distinctly what you have to say. An inaudible voice or mumbling detracts from your testimony and may give the impression that you are not certain of what you are saying. Don’t be afraid to speak up - you are not on trial.

6. Be fair.

Don’t exaggerate or try to slant your testimony. Justice will be served only if you make your testimony as objective as possible. 

7. Be helpful, not funny.

A trial is a serious and important matter. Freedom is at stake. The court wants the facts, not comedy. 

8. Answer all questions directly.

Follow this simple guide: 

  • Listen carefully to the question. Take your time and think about your answer.
  • Answer the question asked - then stop.
  • Speak distinctly and loud enough for the judge or jury to hear.
  • If you do not know the answer to a question, say so.
  • Don’t try to answer a question you do not understand. Ask that it be explained.
  • Do not argue with the defense attorney.

9. Above all, think before you speak and always speak the truth.

10. Also, if you move or change your phone number, please contact our office immediately.

Coming to Court.

If you are called or subpoenaed by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, please arrive at the Courthouse at least 30 minutes before the time of the scheduled case.

Please park in the city parking lots and bring your ticket to be validated.

As soon as you arrive, please report to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office - on the north side, first floor of the Buchanan County Courthouse. We will validate your parking permit at that time. In our office, we maintain a sitting room for your comfort. Also, for your convenience, there are vending machines located in the basement of the Courthouse.

The Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office provides:

  • Speedy return of recovered personal property.
  • Notification of dates for court appearances.
  • Notification of continuances of the case.
  • Notification of the final disposition of the case.
  • Free parking for court date.
  • Transportation arrangements if unable to arrange your own.
  • Babysitting services, if required, for court appearance.
  • Personal escort service from the reception room directly to the court room.
  • Referral to appropriate social service agencies if needed.
  • Employer intervention, if necessary.
  • Waiting room.
  • Sentencing notification.
  • Answers to any questions you may have regarding your case.