Does testifying as a witness give any kind of non-criminal record? 34 Answers as of June 24, 2011

Does testifying as a witness give any kind of non-criminal record? If so, who will have access to this record, what will it contain, who will store it, and can it have any negative effect in the future?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Not particularly. There would be a record in the court file of service of subpoena, if the witness was subpoenaed. If the matter is recorded by a court reporter, and the transcript is ordered, there would exist a written record, but other than that, there is no NCIC database of witnesses, only criminals or those arrested for crimes. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
I do not understand exactly what your question is. I am going to guess you are testifying as a witness for the defense. IN any case, whether you testify as a prosecution or defense witness, this will not result in a criminal record for you, unless you perjure yourself, and the prosecutor can prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. As in any case, a record is made of your testimony, by the court reporter, and it is given under oath, but generally speaking, no consequences are facing you by testifying truthfully.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
There will be a record in the court file, to include the transcript of the proceedings, that the witness testified. This is public information, so anyone who looks at the court record will have access to this information.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 6/16/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
If you testified as a witness then there is probably a transcript of it kept in the court file and unless the court sealed it, it will be accessible to members of the public.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/16/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
It is unclear what specifically you are asking. If you testify as a witness in court then your name will likely appear in any court transcripts but it should not apply to any other sort of record. Furthermore, there are certain requirements that court documents containing the names and identities of specific individuals be redacted before being distributed to third parties in order to protect the identities of the participants.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I am unaware of any such public records being maintained as to witnesses.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    No. The only record of it is in the court minutes which are pubic record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Not sure what you mean. The attorneys will have a file that has your name and identifies you as a witness. If it is a felony, your testimony will be recorded on a transcript that can be recovered and read. There will be a court minute order referencing your appearance [possibly].
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you are called as a witness in a criminal case it will be a matter of record with the court. You will not have a criminal record and it will not be held against you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    No, although someone could look through the court file and see that you were listed as a witness. However, in order to do that, someone would have to know exactly which file to request. They can't simply go to court and say "give me any file involving Eddie Smith." They can only look up files by the parties involved (plaintiff and defendant)
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If you are listed or subpoenaed as a witness, then your name can be "connected" to a case. That is, if someone searched your name they might find your name attached to the case or listed with the case. This would have no effect on you in the future because it does not mean that you have done anything wrong. It is public record and anyone can see it.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Being a witness and testifying in court will not result in any criminal record of any kind.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Testifying as a witness would not show up on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    I have never heard of a data base kept for people who testify. I you lie and are convicted that would be listed on your record. Hope that answers your question. All parties to a case have access to the list of witnesses in that case.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    There is no "record" for someone who testifies.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    No. your name will still be in the records of the case as a witness, but you won't be on any sort of centralized database.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    All courtroom testimony is public information unless the record is sealed. Records are normally sealed in sexual assault case and cases involving minors. Anyone can access public information, it will include your testimony verbatim, the records are stored in the court file and should not have nay negative impact.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    When one testifies, a record of what they say is taken down by a stenographer or sometimes on audiotape. It is generally a public record that anyone could conceivably get access to. However, the testimony is only rarely presented in a form that can be used by anyone. In other words, it generally stays as a stenographic record or an audiotape and is not put in printed form unless someone asks for it and agrees to pay for it. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give legal advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not agreed to represent you. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. All claims have time limits. In general they are: three (3) years for personal injury and property damage actions, two and one half (2 ) years for medical malpractice claims, two (2) years for wrongful death, one (1) year for an intentional wrongdoing, six (6) years for contract claims, but four (4) years for sales of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code, and four (4) months to challenge an action or decision of a government body, department or agency. However, in a claim for personal injury or property damages, if any person or entity at fault is affiliated with a municipal or other government department, agency or facility, then you may be required to file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days and then commence a lawsuit within one (1) year and ninety (90) days, but sometimes within one (1) year. These time limits have exceptions. Never sit on your rights! I am only admitted to practice law in New York State.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Testifying as a witness does not give rise to any record other than the fact that your testimony was recorded in the case in which you testify. There is no "central registry" of witness who have testified.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    There is some record. The court docket would reflect that the witness gave testimony. If the proceedings were recorded, then there would be a court reporter's transcript or recording of the testimony. Normally that would not have any negative affect.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    I'm not sure what you mean by "non criminal record." Do you mean, will there be a way to trace that you once testified in a trial? Since most trials are public (with few exceptions involving minor children) your name would appear in the transcripts of the proceedings and I suppose anyone who wanted to order a transcript of the trail could do so and see your name. However, there is not some type of database for people who testify in court like there is for criminal records. Hope this answered your question.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    The fact that a person testified as a witness appears in the court's records, but as far as I know there's no way to look up a person's appearances as a witness. It's a public record, and anyone who knew where to look could find the court's register (which lists events in the trial, including the names of witnesses) and might be able to get a transcript, which is a written copy of what is said at trial. Testifying at trial when ordered to do so is a legal requirement. It's a crime not to do so, unless you have a valid privilege against testifying. With that said, if you admit to committing a crime, you could be prosecuted. If you have a privilege against testifying (such as the right not to incriminate yourself), you need to assert it. If you testify falsely, you could be prosecuted for perjury. And your testimony could be used against you in a civil suit on related facts.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    I'm not certain I understand your question. As relates to a criminal case, the state (DA) and attorneys involved in the particular case will have a record that you testified. As to some kind of database similar to a criminal record database, I am not aware of any such system for tracking witnesses.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    No, there is no permanent information placed on your criminal record if you testify for the state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    No the only record that shows that you testify is the transcripts or recordings of the proceeding in which you testify and the court docket. This does not have any official effect on you life unless you lie under oath and are charged with the crime of perjury.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
    The question is unclear. Testifying as a witness creates a record in terms of what was said that is either a transcript or an audio CD.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There are no criminal ramifications to testifying as a witness. If the court where you testify is a court of record, the proceedings may be recorded by a court reporter. All circuit courts and federal courts are courts of record and have court reporters. Municipal courts and state district courts are not courts of record and normally do not have a court reporter. The court reporter, if the proceedings are recorded,has the responsibility of preserving the record of the proceedings. The attorneys who are trying the case, or the court will have access to the record upon request.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    No. In Massachusetts, anyway, one's status as a witness in a trial is absolutely not made part of one's CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) or anything else of which I am aware.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No. There is a record of the testimony, but that is all. It shouldn't affect anything.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No, unless you fail to exercise the 5th and start incriminating yourself. Your incriminating statements can be used by the prosecutor to file charge(s) against you. But no, simply testifying as a witness with no incriminating statements against yourself will have no record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    Testifying as a witness will not create any sort of record that anyone can access, other than the record of the proceeding in which you testify. The court clerk generates a "minute order" for each hearing a court holds each day. The hearing at which you testify will too. The minute order only states who appeared, what was ordered, and other bare minimum information as a history of the proceedings for future reference within the court's file.There is nothing to worry about; your fears are unwarranted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    No absolutely not! There is only one instance that court testimony can lead to a criminal charge. That situation is where the witness is proven to have lied. If it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, he or she may be convicted in a later trial of perjury. As long as the witness testifies truthfully, there is no criminal record associated with the fact he or she testified.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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