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What Is a Witness Stand?

In any case, either civil or criminal, a witness testimony may be necessary in order to prosecute or defend the defendant during a court trial. When presenting a testimony, the witness is required to do so in front of the judge and jury in a witness stand. It is essentially the enclosure wherein a witness must present his or her testimony to the court.

Traditionally, the witness box has always been located to the left of the judge and slightly elevated. However, the exact position of the witness stand may vary among states and countries. It is generally common though that a witness stand is placed in front of the courtroom where judge and jury can see the witness present his or her testimony.

Before a witness can appear in court to give his or her testimony at the witness stand, a deposition occurs. An attorney or counsel takes the testimony of the opposing counsel’s witness in order to verify facts and ask any questions necessary before the witness is presented to the court. This is usually done to ensure that the testimony given during court trial is the same as the one given during deposition, so as to not surprise the opposing counsel and to ensure the validity of the witness’ statement. If any differences are found between the deposition and the testimony given by the witness in court at the witness stand, the opposing counsel may use this to discredit the witness given that he or she is not reliable because he or she has no clear memory of the incident or does not really know what happened.

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