After reviewing many cases, Black’s Law Dictionary defined a witness as one of a few things. A witness is a person: 1.”who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing.” 2.”who testifies to what he has seen, heard, or otherwise observed;” 3.”whose declaration under oath… is received as evidence.” The US Court Glossary simplifies this to one idea:  A witness is “a person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.”

Example Sentence

The witness testified of what he saw at the time of the accident.

Case Study

During a Utah trial, a lawyer asked the witness to visualize the crash. The attorney then asked him to raise his hand when the car tried to pass the truck and low er it when the collision occurred. The other side disagreed with this testimony. They argued that the it recreated the event under staged conditions. However, the court disagreed, and the witness’ testimony prevailed.

Important Information

The witness can give her statement of facts either at trial, in a deposition, or in an affidavit. She would be placed under this oath: “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Utah law also penalizes anyone who tries to tamper with a witness through bribes, threats, or harassment. The witness also cannot seek bribes. Both are guilty of a third degree felony.If she lies under oath, she commits the crime of perjury. The state can penalize this person with up to a second degree felony, meaning 1-15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Either party can also call upon people with specific knowledge or skills as expert witnesses. With accidents and injuries, one of the parties might have a doctor testify about the injuries. It might also have an accident expert recreate the event and testify on his results. Utah law does not require witnesses to an accident to pull over. However, your testimony may provide the convincing evidence needed to ensure that the truth prevails. Witnesses required to attend court will be compensated for their time.

PhotoWitness NUON Trech, 7 December 2016″ copyright by Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

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