Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Different Types of Witnesses

It sounds like a daunting prospect, being a witness in a court case. The movies and television make it seem like you’ll be expected to remember minute details from an event that happened months or even years ago. You’ll be (figuratively) shot down by the opposing counsel simply for providing important information about a case, whether you saw someone pull a gun on a person or simply shred a document in an office. But it’s not always so high-pressure. There are different types of witnesses, and lawyer Glenn Duker will go through them here.

Glenn Duker
Complainant vs. non-complainant witnesses

To start with a basic definition, a witness is a person who has information that might be useful in determining the outcome of a legal case, whether it be criminal, civil, corporate or any other field. Typically, witnesses fall under one of two primary categories: a complainant witness is the victim of a crime, while a non-complainant witness is a third party who provides pertinent information the courts need to know about in relation to the incident.

Witnesses of fact vs. expert witnesses

Complainant witnesses are referred to as ‘witnesses of fact’. They were directly involved in a particular incident and so can give evidence, or testify, as to how it played out from their perspective. In cases where a non-complainant witness saw an incident unfold or heard about it, but are not the victims themselves, they too are witnesses of fact.

Non-complainant witnesses who had no direct or indirect involvement in the incident but are considered to have specialist knowledge pertaining to the case are called ‘expert witnesses’. Rather that providing factual based testimony about the event itself, they draw on their expertise to provide a qualified opinion on something relating to the case, whether it’s motive or forensics.

Solicitor Glenn Duker has a wealth of experience in many facets of the law, specialising in everything from litigation to employment law to family law and much more. If you need specific legal advice from an experienced practitioner, make an appointment with Glenn Duker today.

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