This may answer some questions you have about serving as a witness.
As a witness in a criminal proceeding you have been subpoenaed to appear in court to testify. Your subpoena is simply a court order directing your appearance at the time and place stated. Once you have been subpoenaed you are required to appear as ordered until excused. Failure to appear may be regarded by the Court as contempt. It is very important that you communicate with this office if you cannot appear as directed.
As a witness you have a very important duty to perform. In order for a jury or a judge to correctly decide the facts of the case, evidence must be presented in a truthful manner. This obligation of citizenship is essential to our American system of justice.
It is your duty as a witness to give your testimony when it is needed, although it may not be convenient for you to leave your home or place of business to spend one or more days in court. Please remember that justice cannot be accomplished unless people are willing to appear and testify in court.
Report to the District Attorney’s Office on the day and time listed on the subpoena. If the subpoena has a number for you to call please call on the date requested and you will be told when to report. By requesting you to call, the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case will try to coordinate the witnesses in the case to report only on the day you are needed for court.
A fundamental rule in a criminal case is that both the prosecution and the defense have the opportunity to question the witnesses. When the Assistant District Attorney calls upon you to testify, he or she will question you as to the specific facts within your knowledge. After this direct examination is completed, the defense attorney will have the opportunity to ask you questions relating to the same facts. This is called cross-examination. Questions asked by both sides are directed toward achieving one goal to determine the truth in the case. Don’t let cross-examination upset you. It may appear at times that the defense attorney is trying to contradict you, but he or she has the right to test your memory and knowledge of the relevant facts in order that the judge and jury can properly regard your testimony.
Even if the lawyer questioning you may appear discourteous, don't become angry or argumentative. This will lose the respect of the judge and jury.
Becoming angry will probably cause a witness to exaggerate and appear unobjective and unreliable. KEEP CALM!
FINALLY, ABOVE ALL, TELL THE TRUTH!!!
The Monroe County District Attorney's Office is located on the first floor of the Monroe County Court House, 610 Monroe Street, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360.
Parking is available in the Parking Garage next to the Monroe County Administration Building located on 6th Street. There may also be metered street parking available. You are required to pay for your own parking expenses.
If you have any special needs and require assistance, please call the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit at 570-517-3062.
Office of the District Attorney
610 Monroe St., Suite 126
Stroudsburg, PA 18360
Tel: (570) 517-3052
Fax: (570) 517-3863