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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am told that as a witness called , I have to go to court

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I am told that as a witness called , I have to go to court , but I can not be compelled to go into the court room
HelloWelcome to Just AnswerI am a Solicitor and will assist.Please may I ask - is this a criminal trial in England?Kind RegardsCaroline
Hello. Is this a domestic? Are you married? have you made a S9 statement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a domestic issue in which I made a statement to the police that my younger brother said he wanted to fight me but then walked away. He attended the magistrates and pleaded not guilty , there is a court case next month. If found guilty he will be sent to prison for 12 months as he has a suspended sentence. I do not want to attend but have been called. I am told I have to attend but cannot be forced to go into the court by another lawyer.
Is this the first time you have called the police to a domestic?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HOw many times roughly?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is that all particularly recent?Are you female?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife and I have move home now , and also my younger brother has move elsewhere , there is not much chance of meeting up
Sorry? you are male then which answers one question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It happened at the end of jan and the court case is in May
Yes, but the other occasions ? Were they all recent?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One in November 2015 and another I think in earlier 2015 when we all living in the family home
OK. Are you summonsed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is always a debate over what a summons does. My own reading of the legislation is that it binds you to attend the courthouse but not to go into the witness box. However, there is an offence under the Magistrates Court Act in refusing to give evidence when at court.
The reality is that if a person just refuses to go into the witness box then nobody has any means of forcing them to do so. The question is what would be the consequences.It is very unlikely that you would be prosecuted but you could.
Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so if I wait outside the court room , but in the court , I have never been to court so do not understand the layout witness box
You will be ushered towards witness services but the point is that if you just refuse to go into the witness box then nobody can force you into it and you can't give evidence elsewhere.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is ther any wording I can use to refuse to go into the witness box , I am afraid I might be intimidated to enter
Yes, there is that risk. If you attend court they will put pressure on you and there are no words that will stop them really. The only way to avoid that is to stay away but that is a contempt although it won't be prosecuted.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you
No problem. All the best.