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What Is a Material Witness?

Some court trials require witness testimonies as evidence in a case. The duty of the witness is to provide an account that may prove to be useful to the legal counsel that he or she is supporting. There exist different kinds of witnesses within the court system. A material witness is crucial to a court case because his or her testimony is absolutely essential to the court proceedings. Thus, a material witness presents a testimony that is of material importance.

Different types of witnesses can be called into a court trial. A witness is categorized according to his or her expertise, the type of testimony they are to give, when they are to give a testimony, and other categories. However, a material witness is a general category that encompasses all these specific categories. An expert witness can be considered lay or expert. There also exist sentencing or punishment witnesses. These types of witnesses are only present during the sentencing hearing in order to determine the extent of the punishment to be given.

Another type of witness is a fact witness. He or she provides information regarding the particulars of a case. This is in comparison to a character witness, who provides information regarding a person’s morality, reputation, credibility, and honesty. This can be significantly relevant to a case.

Special circumstances can be prescribed to a material witness since his or her testimony is absolutely relevant. This may include extending the court schedule or compelling the witness to testify despite his or her protest.

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