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Tips on Testifying
If you are subpoenaed to testify as a victim or witness of crime

If you receive a subpoena to testify in court, here are some things to remember:
  • BE ON TIME: The judge will not wait for you to begin. If you are late or fail to appear, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
  • KNOW THE ADDRESS: Please take note of the court’s address as Fredericksburg has separate locations for Circuit, General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
  • LEAVE YOUR CELL PHONE: Please note that cell phones are not allowed in court. If you bring your cell phone, you will be asked to return it to your car before you will be allowed to enter the building.
  • DRESS NEATLY: The judge and/or jury will take note of how you present yourself. No shorts, tank tops or sandals are permitted in the courtroom.
  • TELL THE TRUTH: If you do not know or remember the answer to a question, say so. Lying under oath could cause you to face numerous criminal charges.
  • SPEAK LOUDLY AND CLEARLY: Speak into the microphone slowly, giving a verbal answer to each question. Do not put your hands in front of your face when you speak.
  • PREPARE YOURSELF: Victim Witness and Commonwealth Attorney staff can assist in helping you familiarize yourself with the courtroom, answer any questions, and address and questions/concerns about the court process.
  • BE PREPARED TO WAIT: The judicial process can be long and unpredictable. Make alternate arrangements to pick up children from school and/or daycare in case it is needed.
  • DO NOT: smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink inside of the court house.
  • REMEMBER: If the defense attorney makes you feel uneasy, they are just doing his/her job. You are not on trial. You are in control of what you say and do. The defendant is on trial.
  • IF YOU HAVE BEEN THREATENED: If you have been threatened regarding your testimony in a court case or regarding your subpoena in a court case, please contact the Fredericksburg Police Department at 540-373-3122. Save text messages, emails, or any other physical communication in which the threat is made.


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