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Witness Information
Contact
If you receive a subpoena to testify in a Criminal Trial on behalf of the County Attorney's Office, contact us at (817) 579-3216 by noon on the date you are subpoenaed to appear. (Most subpoena’s are issued for 1:00 p.m. on Monday so that the County Court at Law Judge can target the cases he will hear that week at the morning docket call. In most instances you will receive a phone call prior to noon informing you of either your release from the subpoena or the date and time that you will need to be present for the trial.)
***Most trials do not start until Tuesday morning.

If you receive a subpoena to testify in a Juvenile Hearing, Motion to Suppress Hearing or Bench Trial you will need to be here approximately 30 minutes prior to the time stated on your subpoena. You may call the day before to make sure the Hearing or Trial is still scheduled but in most instances you will be notified of any resets or cancellations prior to the time of the hearing.

If you receive a notice/letter to appear at a Protective order hearing you will need to be here approximately 30 minutes prior to the time stated on your notice/letter. If the Protective Order is extended or the hearing cancelled due to unforeseeable circumstances, you will be notified by telephone and usually by letter of the extension or cancellation.

Please have the case number and case name referenced on your subpoena/notice for identification purposes when you call.

Dress
Please dress appropriately for court. This means no:
• Shorts  • Flip flops • Tank tops • Sports jerseys • Caps or hats
• Revealing clothes (like short skirts or low-cut tops)
• Clothes with profane, obscene, or inappropriate language or logos

Instructions to Witnesses
As a witness in the County Court at Law, you will take an oath to offer true testimony. Your testimony is obviously important or you would not have been called to be a witness. Please carefully read and abide by the following instructions:
  • Please remove gum or candy before you take the witness stand. Your testimony is important, and the Court and Jury need to be able to hear and understand each and every word you say.
  • Adjust the microphone so that it points directly to you, and try to speak in the direction of the microphone as you answer.
  • Speak slowly and as distinctly as possible when answering questions of the attorneys. Give verbal responses. Avoid saying “uh-huh”. It is vital that both the Court, Jury and Court reporter understand your answers.
  • Wait until the attorney has completely finished asking the question before you begin your answer. Do not begin to answer even if you feel you know what the remainder of the question might be.
  • If one attorney stands and makes an objection during the question of another attorney, do not begin to answer that question until the attorneys have finished their dialogue and the Court has made its ruling.
  • If the Court sustains the objection, do not answer the question. If the Court overrules the objection, you may answer the question.
  • Listen to the question, then give your answer to that specific question. If a question can be answered “yes” or “no”, then do so. If further explanation is necessary, the attorneys will ask more questions.
  • If you do not understand a question, you may ask the attorney to rephrase or repeat the question.
** If the “RULE AS TO WITNESSES” has been invoked in the case, this means that:
  • You have to remain outside the courtroom while testimony is being offered.
  • You cannot discuss the case with anyone nor allow anyone to discuss the case with you.
  • You cannot remain within hearing distance of a discussion about the case by other people.
  • It is an exception to the rule for the lawyers to speak with you about the case or your testimony.


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