Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

expert witnesses. Substance impaired driving trials may involve complex scientific data regarding the processes of alcohol absorption, specific drug reactions, distribution, and elimination, and warrant expert testimony. If possible, the prosecutor should thoroughly prepare all witnesses well before the trial begins. The prosecutor should familiarize each witness with the questions that are likely to be asked at trial by both the prosecutor and defense attorney and permit the witness to review pictures, charts and other exhibits that may be presented during trial. In the event you are called to testify in court, the following suggestions may help you testify with relative ease and maximum credibility: • Dress conservatively. This means a business suit for men and a dress or business suit for women. • Take notes or a written statement with you to the witness stand if you think you need them. However, be aware that the judge, attorneys, and jury may be allowed to examine them. You should review them with the prosecutor beforehand. • If the defense attorney asks if you have discussed your testimony with the prosecuting attorney, it is appropriate to respond “yes.” The attorney may have helped you organize your statement, but you are testifying to the true impact on you and your family. • If you don’t understand a question asked by one of the attorneys, simply say so, and ask that it be repeated. If you do


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