How To Write A Witness Report

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

If you have witnessed an accident or crime being commissioned, you might be called upon to write a witness report. Your report will become a legal record and might be used in a court of law. Here is how to write a Witness Report.

First-Hand Account and No Hearsay

After a serious event, you might be emotionally charged. Before you write a Witness Report, you should settle your nerves and consider what you saw first-hand. Remember that this is your report and must include what you saw or heard directly.

Write a clear, concise and accurate Witness Report that can be used in a legal trial. After a traumatic event, you should record the time as soon as possible. Look at your watch, cell phone or email to determine when the accident or crime occurred. From that point, you must create a backwards time line back to your arrival at the scene.

Explain why you were at the scene. Do you know any of the parties involved? Were you part of the action or an innocent bystander? Gradually, organize your thoughts chronologically from your arrival to the moment of the incident.

Check your calendar. Write down the exact date. This is one of the many errors that can be revealed by a good attorney during cross-examination.

An Expert on Some Element of an Event

During a civil or criminal court case, you will be expected to be an expert on a specific element of an event. You must defend your positions. Therefore, only state that which you can prove that you witnessed first-hand. If you are unsure of something, you might want to leave it out of your Witness Report.

Write down the spatial arrangements on a map with people, things and vehicles in their proper position. Did you see any evidence that could be useful during a court case? Transfer your ideas and concepts into full accurate sentences.

Enter your personal information on the Witness Report: full legal name, address, telephone number and email address. Write down the name of the individual who requested that you make the report. Identify any special qualifications you may have, like medicine. Sign and date the statement.

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