While there is no legal compulsion to provide a witness statement to the police, we all have a moral obligation to assist the police with their investigations. For many people, the notion of delivering a statement and appearing in court is terrifying for a variety of reasons, including fear of retaliation and apprehension about coming to court. However, it is very important that anyone who has information about a crime takes time to consider how to help the police investigate before deciding what role they want to play.
If you do decide to speak to officers, there are some things you should keep in mind. First, you have the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to say anything at all unless you wish to do so. Second, anything that you say can be used as evidence against you in court. Finally, try to be as detailed as possible when describing what you saw or heard. This will help ensure that investigators know where to focus their efforts.
If you would like more information about giving a statement to police, please feel free to contact us via phone at (603) 898-3500 or email at [email protected] We offer free initial consultations and all cases are accepted on a contingent fee basis, which means that we receive an attorney's fee only if we win your case.
If you provide the police a witness statement, they will not give you a copy of that statement. If your case proceeds to court, you will be given the chance to review what you said in your statement or video-recorded interview just before giving oral testimony. But again, the judge is not required to let you see it ahead of time.
In some jurisdictions, such as New South Wales and Queensland, Australia, all witness statements are made public under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2007. In other jurisdictions, such as Victoria and Western Australia, only relevant parts of the statement may be disclosed.
Writing down what happened can help identify possible problems with your memory later. But unless the police ask you for your statement, it is not necessary to write it down.
Police often use witness statements to build cases. For example, if there are multiple witnesses who saw someone carrying an object, but couldn't say what it was, the police might ask each person separately if they would take a look at the evidence and try to identify what they saw being carried. If everyone agrees that the same object was seen by several people, then it must have been something significant like a weapon or drug dealer.
Witness statements are also used by lawyers to build their cases.
If you provide a written statement, the police will usually request that you come to your house or attend the police station. The police are aware that discussing what you have observed may be an upsetting experience. Inform the police officer if something is not right so that it can be corrected.
You should only have to visit the police station/station once. If you give a verbal statement at the scene of the crime, you do not need to write it down. However, it is advisable to do this just in case you forget something important!
When you arrive at the station, you will be given a form to read and sign. This is your statement of consent. It allows the police to search you, your home, and your car without first getting permission from a judge. They can also require you to stay overnight in jail before bringing you back for further questioning.
It is best to let the police do their job. However, if you know something about someone who has been arrested, you can contact the district attorney's office to see if charges will be filed. You can also ask the police department about its policy on giving statements to help prevent future claims of abuse by employees.
The police may need to talk with you more than once, for example, if information has to be verified. If the police consider you are "vulnerable" or "intimidated" as defined by law, you may give a video recorded statement instead of a written statement in particular instances. Video statements are very useful for showing what happened before and after an offense was committed, which can help establish proof that it took place.
Video statements are useful tools for police to use when they want to see how certain facts relate to each other without having to rely solely on memory. For example, officers could watch your video statement multiple times to verify whether or not they received all their paperwork or performed all their duties correctly during an arrest. They could also use it to get a view of the crime scene from your perspective. These videos are helpful tools for police to use when trying to piece together evidence that may have been disturbed or moved during the course of their investigation.
Police departments across the country use video statements as an effective way to reduce the number of false arrests and to improve case investigations. It is important to remember that even though you are free to leave at any time, you still have the right to remain silent and cannot be made to give a video statement against your will. If you feel like you cannot give a video statement because you fear retaliation from the accused, a lawyer should be appointed to represent you.
The cops must explain this to you by reading you the following police warning: "You are not required to say anything. However, failing to reveal something when questioned that you later rely on in court may jeopardize your defense. Anything you say might be used as proof."
There are two ways for the police to question you. The first is called a formal interview and it is conducted by a detective with experience investigating crime scenes. The other type of questioning is called informal and can be done by any officer at the scene of the crime or arrest. During an informal interview, officers may ask you questions such as: "Did you see what happened?"; "Can you tell me about it?"; and "What did you do after the incident?" You should know that even if you don't speak to officers directly involved in the investigation, they may still want to talk with you later. For example, an officer who observed the incident may work another case where someone tells them what happened. This person could be a witness or victim in the case being investigated. The officer will then want to talk with them too.
If you choose to answer questions without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop talking at any time. If you don't stop talking, officers may continue asking you questions until they get everything they need to investigate the case.