Role of Victims & Witness Assistants
Victim & Witness Assistants are members of the District Attorney's staff who will assist you throughout the criminal justice process. Assistants are available in each of our courts to provide a variety of free services to victims and witnesses including information, support, and referrals.
Suggestions for Witnesses
- A neat appearance and proper dress are always important when attending a court proceeding. Please be on time for court.
- Be familiar with the statement you have made to the police.
- If asked, do not be afraid to state that you have discussed your case with other people, such as the police, District Attorney's Office, and your family.
- Think before you speak.
- Be brief, just answer the question and stop. Don't volunteer any information.
- If you do not know the answer to a question or do not remember the facts, do not be afraid to admit it. It is important that you tell only the truth.
- If you can't answer "yes" or "no," say so. Modify your reply by "under certain circumstances..."
- Keep your temper. Don't let anyone rile you into arguments over trivial points or even important ones. Be firm but flexible.
- When one of the lawyers says "objection" stop your answer immediately and wait until the Court gives its ruling.
- If you make a mistake, or a slight contradiction, admit it and correct it. Don't tie yourself in knots trying to cover up some slip of speech or memory.
Victims and/or witnesses to a crime have rights under the Massachusetts Bill of Rights.
Victim & Witness Assistants will help guide you through the criminal justice process as the case progresses through the court system. The District Attorney's Office asks for your cooperation and patience during the prosecution stages and will make every attempt to avoid any inconvenience to you.