A witness in the UK has special rights which can be entirely explained by a local defence solicitor. This is a particular status which can help the defence in the Magistrates’ Court in the UK. It is good to know that the witness of a crime will receive extra attention and precise measures will be taken in the court of law.
Declarations of witnesses in the UK
If you are a witness of a serious offence in the UK, you are recommended to go to the police and to make a statement with everything you’ve seen or heard. Such declaration will help the authorities in charge to analyze the circumstances and to detain the criminals. If a trial will be involved, then it is good to know that you must declare the same things as you did at the police station. A defence lawyer can offer legal assistance in this matter and can explain the rights as a witness of a case, and here we remind the following:
- a witness will be respected in the court of law;
- a witness can receive special attention if he/she feels intimidated or threatened;
- the witness can ask for travel expenses;
- a witness can deny his presence in the court of law, but can make a video statement if he/she wants.
The legal rights and protection of a witness in the UK
If you are a victim of a crime in the UK, special measures need to be applied and you have rights when appearing in the court of law, such as:
- you can receive legal assistance during the entire process;
- you can ask for an interpreter if you do not speak English;
- you have the right to stay in a different room, in order to avoid a meeting with the defendants’ family.
- you can claim the expenses related to your travel to and from the court of law in the UK;
- if you feel threatened in any way, your identity can be protected on request.
Revising the statement as a witness in the court of law
There are cases when a witness can be solicited at a certain date for the first hearing of his/her statement in the court of law. This must be the same declaration as the one offered at the police station, but if it has been a while since you’ve made the statement as a witness in a criminal offence, you might want to review the declaration to remind all the details. It is good to know that the police can help in this matter by offering your declaration to a quick and important review.
Claim the expenses if you are a witness in a case
Persons called as witnesses in the court of law in the UK may solicit the reimbursement of the expenses in this situation. Offering evidence as a witness in a serious case handled by a court or a tribunal can be time and money consuming, which is why you can ask for refunds, with the support of your attorney, before anything else. Parents can also ask for child support or allowance if they have been present in the court of law as witnesses and had to leave the youngster in someone else’s care.
The amount in this situation can be settled at about £70/day. As for individuals who skipped work for a few hours, they can receive about £40 for at least four hours or £86 for more than four hours spent in the court, as a self-employed. Your attorney can give complete support and full information if you want to claim the expenses as a witness in both serious and less serious cases in the UK.
Additional protection for witnesses in the court of law in UK
If you have been a victim of abuse, if you are a minor or if you are terrified of giving a statement as a witness of a crime in the UK, your lawyer can solicit extra protection, in order to feel capable of offering the evidence and useful information in that particular case. For instance, you don’t have to confront the criminal in the court of law and you don’t have to provide embarrassing details in front of the public, if you have been involved in a sexual abuse. We remind that the witnesses in UK can benefit from complete protection and a special status in the court of law, including the protection of the identity. You can receive suitable and valuable information in this matter from your attorney who can also offer support in a trial.