How to change a witness statement

Written by angela campbell
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How to change a witness statement
Immediately contact the legal representative who took your statement. (US Supreme Court image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com)

A witness statement is a legal record of the testimony a person gives to police, a judge or attorneys, which is signed by the witness to confirm the statement as true. When a person gives a witness statement, it helps attorneys in that case prepare arguments, either for the defence or prosecution. Therefore, if a person wishes to change their witness statement, they should immediately contact the legal representative who documented it.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Contact the person who took your statement. If you gave your statement to a law enforcement officer or an attorney, you must contact that person to correct the document before it is used in legal proceedings. Law enforcement officers need truthful information to conduct a well-rounded investigation.

  2. 2

    Explain the changes. It is important to be truthful when issuing a statement and even more so when correcting or changing a statement. The officer or attorney taking the change should note the reason you changed your statement if the statement has already been filed with the court.

  3. 3

    If you have an attorney, make sure she is aware of the change. Attorneys rely on witness statements to prepare their arguments in court proceedings. If you supplied the change to a police officer, make certain you warn and advise your attorney or the attorney representing your party.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not wait until you are in a court of law to change your witness statement. Changing a statement before court proceedings decreases your chance of prosecution for such penalties as perjury.
  • Changing a witness statement will call your credibility as a witness into question. Make certain you give accurate, detailed information along with a reason for the change to make your testimony more sound. Never sign a witness statement that is untrue.

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