What does Testimony mean?

Testimony is information given by a witness at a criminal trial. Testimony can be collected through affidavits or depositions. Witnesses for the defense or prosecution will be served a subpoena to testify either in court or to give deposition testimony. Deposition testimony is generally done in a conference room rather than the court, but the witness may also be asked to appear later in court. Depositions are recorded and may be completed weeks or months prior to trial when the information is freshest in the mind of the witness. Testimony taken in a deposition is typed and given to the witness to verify.

Witnesses may later be asked to testify in a courtroom before the jury and/or judge. The witness is expected to answer questions truthfully and take their responsibilities very seriously, especially in a criminal matter where the accused could be imprisoned. Consider also, lying under oath either in a deposition or on the witness stand can be considered perjury and is a criminal offense. A witness does have the right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves which is outlined in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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