Going to court
You may find it a bewildering experience if you are going to court as a victim or witness for the first time. You may not know what to expect or how to find out about court procedures, court layout or the role of various people working at the court. And you may find it difficult to give evidence, especially if it means talking about unpleasant events in public, including accusing another person of a serious crime. You may also not feel prepared for the process of cross-examination, which can sometimes feel very critical or even humiliating. Do contact the Witness Service if you are worried about any of this. We can provide support before, during or after the hearing. The Witness Service is also available to your family and friends.
You should also bring any information about the case, for example, the name of the police officer dealing with the case, if you know it, and the letter asking you to attend court, if you received one. And bring something to read or do as you may have to wait a long time for the case to be called. Bring some money as well to cover costs such as car parking and refreshments.
- Home Office's Witness in court leaflet
- Our Going to court leaflet
- Victims' walkthrough website - contains information about going to court and criminal justice processes