Last Updated: September 6, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
For any investigation, the details of events provided by witnesses are a critical element of the evidence gathered. Witness testimony is the verbal account of events or knowledge of the facts relevant to the crime. Witness statements will assist the investigator in forming reasonable grounds to lay a charge and will assist the court in reaching a decision that the charge against an accused person has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. As the law has evolved regarding witnesses, many rules of evidence, definitions, and protocols have developed to govern the way witnesses may testify in court. It is important for an investigator to understand these elements as this allows an investigator to evaluate witnesses and collect witness evidence that will be acceptable to the courts.
Criminal Charges Depending if you were arrested or not and charged with a crime, you may receive an appearance notice , a promise to appear , a summons , recognizance , or a government document called Information. No matter which document you have, it will tell you:. Disclosure The prosecutors — called Crown Counsel — must give you a copy of all the evidence they have about the charges against you. Crown must disclose copies of police reports, witness statements, your criminal record, and statements you made.
Last Updated: September 6, References. This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD.