Being a witness at court

When you're a witness

You'll get an official letter – called a 'citation' – telling you to be a witness. The citation will tell you what kind of court case you're to give evidence at.

You may be asked to be a witness in a criminal court case because you have information about a possible crime.

This may mean that you:

  • have been a victim of a crime
  • have seen or heard something in connection with a crime
  • have information about someone accused of a crime

You may be asked to be a witness in a Children's Hearing court case, because:

Read more about Children's Hearings and witnesses at Children's Hearing court cases on the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration website.

Not all incidents are considered crimes. Issues like debt, housing disputes and bankruptcy are called civil cases and are dealt with in either the Court of Session or the Sheriff Court.

You might be a witness in a civil court case because you:

  • started the case
  • someone else has started the case against you
  • you have some other formal interest in the case
  • have seen or heard something in connection with the case
  • have information about someone involved in the case