Subpoenas & Testifying in Court
Received a Subpoena?
If you have been subpoenaed by the City of Burlington prosecuting attorney to testify in court, please contact the City Attorney's Office at 360-755-9473.
Requirements | Testifying in Court
- A subpoena to testify is a court order and you must attend. Children should not be brought to court unless included on a subpoena.
- You do not have to discuss this case with anyone unless you want to. If you're not sure about who is speaking to you, contact the Prosecuting Attorney's Office at 360-755-9473.
- Review the case in your mind a day or two before the court date. This will help you to recall details you may have forgotten.
- Dress appropriately for court. No shorts, tank tops, or clothing with offensive language or designs. After entering the courtroom, present your subpoena to the prosecuting attorney.
- When called to testify, tell the truth as best you can. Take your time. Remember to breathe deeply to help relax.
- Listen carefully to each question and wait until the question is finished before giving an answer.
- Only answer the question asked of you. Do not volunteer information.
- If the question requires a "yes" or "no" answer and you want to say more, answer the question "yes" or "no" and ask if you may explain.
- Speak loudly and clearly.
- If you do not understand a question, it is all right to ask that the question be repeated or clarified.
- If you do not know an answer, say so. If you do not remember, say you don't remember.
- Do not guess if you're not sure unless you're asked to give an estimate.
- When answering a question, if you hear an attorney say "objection", do not continue or answer until told to do so.
- If you make mistakes in answering, correct yourself as soon as you realize your mistake.
- Do not lose your temper, even if you feel angered by the questions; do not argue with the attorney.
- After being excused from the stand, do not discuss the case in halls, restrooms, or anywhere you could be overheard.
- Remember that your behavior out of the courtroom is as important as your behavior in the courtroom.