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.
Criminal court cases
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
Children's Hearing court cases
You may be asked to be a witness in a Children's Hearing court case, because:
- the case is about you and you need to tell the court what you know
- you have important information about a child's welfare or about what is written in the Children's Reporter's statement of grounds
Read more about Children's Hearings and witnesses at Children's Hearing court cases on the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration website.
Civil court cases
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