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Can i get out of being a witness in a trial?
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Can i get out of being a witness in a trial?

I have been notified i am a witness in a trial, i cant do it firstly because i go to University with the mother of the girl being prosecuted. Secondly i am have had 3 panic attacks just thinking about it. There were many witnesses, i have spoken to the CPS and they asked if i could not attend, prosecution said ok she doesnt need to attend but defense insisting i attend, thing is i am a witness for the prosecution so scared even more now. Why would the defence want me there????
I cant do it, im on the verge of just running away i cant cope with this at all!!!!! Does anyone know if there is a way to get out of this???
Additional Details
I did not lie at all, we were told by the police it was very unlikely to go to court which is why i agreed to give a statement. There is another 8 witnesses who saw the same as me and also gave statements.
That last message was really uncalled for. I do have panic attacks and have for many years.
I am scared not because i lied but because i have to go to University with the mother of the girl being prosecuted and there not a nice family to get on the wrong side of at all.
I am more scared that it is the defence that want me there not the prosecution, im really worried there going to be really hard on me.
All in all im just scared!!!


A . Z .
Right Dutchess lets get you out of this I'll try my best. (Panic attacks are horrible my ex used to have them & unless u see them u cannot comment so f...k 'em.) This is the attitude you want F..k 'em all!! Right it is a 3 country u don't have to be a witness, stand up 4 yourself!! They are playing mind games, the police want a nick. They don't care about you and the defense know your weak so that is why they want you there. They know they have a chance to break u, u r an easy target. The simple fact is you don't have to be a witness, make 1 statement & say 'I don't want to be a witness!' Say it once then don't answer the phone you made your statement that is it that is all they r getting. Their soon get the message to f..k off!! Your be fine, stand tall f..k 'em it is a 3 country!!

confucious says
you should have thought about the consequences when you first made a statement are you afraid that the statement you made was not exactly the truth and you may have caused unknown trouble for someone. it seems extremely obvious to me that the prosecution are not bothered for you to attend but the defence insists. have you told a lie that the defence will pounce on and make the trial a non event.
you are worried not because you have to go to court it is the fact that you orginal lie will be found out and you dont want the hassle etc. if you have nothing to fear you must attend and the rubbish about panic attacks for me IMO are just another lie

joan k
Contact the Witness Support Manager at the CPS. They are very helpful and will give you advice.

"Panic attacks". Give me a break.

You saw what you saw and you are obligated as a citizen to do your duty.

Toughen up.

I'm sorry but I don't think that you can get out of being a witness at the trial, you could go to your doctor, telling him about the panic attacks and he may give you a note to take to them, they may let you be a witness from another room with TV.

Consult legal counsel, or just call the clerk's office. Make sure you don't have to show up before you just avoid going. To not show up would be a contempt of court especially if you are summoned.

It's your duty. Just do it. You would want someone to turn up to any case where you were being tried wouldn't you?

NIcky b
no i believe, you were a witness, you could know something baout the case that nobody else does

Well, said Alberto
You will have to go; just answer the questions & if you don't know the answer or you feel confused then say so.

Good luck... it'll be over before you know it.

Speak to the witness care officer for your case. there are measures that can be applied for. I work in the legal system and am a professional witness I have been called to a large number of trials in the past 7 years and have given evidence about 7 times.
They may go guilty on the day, when they see you have done the right thing. It is not like the TV you will be OK. There is no justice without the witness.
Some will say there is no justice, but there is no hope for any of us if you don't do the right thing.
oh and if you are called and fail to attend you may have a warrant issued for you and get arrested or the guilty go free because of you. Don't run, it is not as scare as you think.
Go and watch a trial, they are public you can do this. Ask for a court visit, it will help.
Be brave.

erika h
unfortunately you can't get out of it. If you don't turn up, without a really good reason, at the least you be fined at the most you can end up in jail for obstruction of Justice

sorry but i do believe you have to attend they may not use you in the end but you do have to go.

country bumpkin [sheep nurse]
best go or you could be held in contempt failure to appear.

Presumably the defence have asked for you because they think that there's a chance that your evidence won't stand up in court and they want to be able to cross-examine you. That alone isn't very reassuring. If you fail to attend, then one of two things could happen. The CPS might decide that the case can proceed without your evidence and simply not offer it to the court. Alternatively, they might decide to issue a witness summons to you to attend court and it will be served on you with conduct money (to cover fares, so that you can't say that you are prevented from coming by financial factors), in which case you have to turn up or risk being arrested and dealt with for contempt of court. I don't know whether this link will be of any help to you. http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/law/victims/witnesssupport

If you have been subpoenaed, you have to show or, or face contempt of court charges and wind up in jail yourself.

Orange County is great!
(holy **** I really am scared to tell you this because you sound like you may jump off a bridge)

There is a charge by the name of FTA (Failure to Appear) when you don't show up to court as a witness. Good luck.

If you are suffering Panic attacks to te point tat you cannot give evidence or stand up to cross examination, you must get a note from your Doctor.

They may adjourn the case. But if you doctor insists that giving evidence can be detrimental to your health the courts will not go against that.

I was a lead witness in a case and had a breakdown at the thought of going to trial. I was excused - though I had been admitted to hospital etc and there was plenty of documented evidence that I was too ill to take the stand.

Firstly, stop the panic!

Lets start at the beginning...you gave a witness statement to an offence you witnessed. This statement is for the Prosecution, and the police officer who took it should not have told you that you wouldn't be called as he/she does not decide who is called. The Prosecution counsel will have decided which witnesses they want to call and all unused witness statements are tendered to the defence.
The defence counsel then make a decision of whom they want to call, and look for weaknesses in the statements that could go in the favour of their client (the defendant).- thats how you may have got called by the defence, but you are still a prosecution witness.
If you continue down the line of not wanting to attend (and to be honest any witness care officer worth their salt will have sussed this as the case), you should have been informed that you are liable to be summonsed, and arrested for contempt of court if after summons you fail to attend the trial.
If you are suffering any form of intimidation, you should contact the police, including if the mother of the defendant is saying things about the trial and it is unsettling you, as witness intimidation is a serious offence.
If you are, as you say suffering severe panic attacks, go and see your GP. He/she will need to state how long you have been ill, what medication etc you are prescribed, and must put in any letter that you are not fit now and never will be fit to give evidence for the foreseeable future.
To be honest with you, panic attacks don't generally wash with court....you may wish to speak with CPS witness care officer about special measures, this will depend on the type of offence and where you fit in as a witness, you may be able to get screens! It would be doubtful you would get a TV link.

My best advice is to bite down hard and ask for the witness service (based in the courts) to support you on the trial date, go in and give your evidence.

nicholas bottles
just say you see or hear anything ,theyll"soon send you home; its anyway they dont punish criminals nowadays just a slapped hand ,the police are a joke so are the courts

tell the police you are both physically and mentally unfit to be a witness, talk to your doctor about it he can help . stop worrying its is not a hard thing to do. if you just cant make it known

LeeLee x
just think about it as being couple of hours of your life and it will all be over soon. I dont think there is away out but why not try your doctor?? See if he can do anything for you? Good luck, you have my sympathy x

Oracle ONE
I 'spose u could say you cant remember anything about the incident

I have receieved a letter to go to court as a witness to some scaffolding that had been stolen off the front of my landlords property even though I didn't see the people who had done it my partner did its not a summons it just says you are required to go do I have to go its all the landlords fault if he hadn't left it there for months on end I don't want to be involved

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