Guide for Witnesses

Where to Report

When you appear for the case, report to the District Attorney’s Office, Suite 1700, at the time indicated on the subpoena.


Parking is available in the upper parking lot on the south side of the Judicial Center.

How to Collect Witness Fees

Every witness is entitled to witness fees for his or her appearance in Court. Bring your subpoena when you appear so that you may collect your fee. We will explain the procedure for receiving payment from the Clerk of Court.

How to Regain Property Used as Evidence

In some cases, the (Assistant) District Attorney will release property used as evidence before trial. Ask him/her about this if it concerns you, or call the Victim/Witness Office at (715) 232-6832.

Questions or Concerns

If at any time you have questions or concerns regarding the case or your testimony, call our office and speak to our Victim/Witness Coordinator or the (Assistant) District Attorney assigned to the case.

Testifying in Court

  1. Tell the Truth.  A lie can lose the case.  No matter how seemingly small or unimportant the falsehood, it could cause a witness’s entire testimony to be disbelieved. Tell the truth, tell it accurately, and tell it to the attorney handling the case before you get on the stand.

  2. Don't Guess – If you don't know, say you don't know.  If you don’t remember, say you don’t remember.

  3. Be sure you understand the question before you answer.  You can’t possibly give a truthful and accurate answer unless you understand the question. Ask the attorney to explain it or to use language which you understand.

  4. Take your time.  Be certain in your mind that you are answering the question being asked. Then give the answer. Also, after a question is asked, often times an “objection” will be made to that particular question. Wait for the court to make a ruling before answering.

  5. Answer the question that is asked then stop.  Don't volunteer information. The attorney will ask you more questions if he or she wants more information.

  6. Talk loud enough so everyone can hear you.  Please sit erect, don't chew gum and keep your hands away from your mouth.

  7. Give a clear and loud answer – so the Court Reporter can record it. Don't nod your head, shrug or make gestures.

  8. Don't look at the attorney or judge for help - when you are on the stand. You have been called as a witness because you have certain facts and information surrounding the case. The prosecuting attorney is unable to ask leading questions.

  9. Beware of questions involving distances and time.  If you can make an estimate, be sure that everyone understands that you are only estimating.

  10. Be Calm.  There is often a tendency to become hostile towards the attorneys. Your anger distracts the judges and jury from what you have to say.

  11. Be Courteous.  Be sure to answer “Yes” or “No” and to address the judge as “Your Honor.”

  12. Trial Preparation – If asked whether you have talked to the attorney on either side, or to an investigator or police officer, admit it freely if you have.  There is nothing improper about discussing the case prior to trial.

  13. Give a Definite answer when you can.  There is a tendency for witnesses to hesitate in response to such questions as, “Are you absolutely sure?”  If you are certain, be firm and don’t be afraid to say so.

  14. Be certain the District Attorney has all the facts.  If you have information that the (Assistant) District Attorney may not be aware of, make certain you advise the prosecutor accordingly. If you recall a misstatement or error during the investigation, or during previous testimony, point it out to the attorney handling the case so it can be corrected and brought to the attention of the court.