Courtroom Testimony

Course Description

This course is designed to improve your skills in testimony, to increase your awareness of the court system processes and guide you to better understand your important role which will increase your ability to be successful. One of the most important tools often overlooked during the training cycle of law enforcement officers throughout their career is how to win in court. Those involved with investigative and enforcement activities should be aware that successful law enforcement initiatives do not end at the conclusion of an investigation, arrest and/or issuance of a traffic citation. In fact, the investigation, arrest or citation is only the beginning stage of many, in what appears to be a never ending legal process. It is only at the end of this entire process that includes and encompasses the totality of the prosecution, defense and trial phase of a case that results in a conclusion for the officers involved.

Training tends to focus on instructional matter relating to various dynamics of criminal law, investigative techniques, crime scene processing, traffic enforcement, officer safety issues and a wealth of enforcement and service related core function curriculum but leaves the officer basically "on his own" when it comes to the court process.

The court and/or "the jungle", requires a constant and vigilant understanding of its unique environment for the survival of those who enters its domain. It is here that the weight of the entire criminal justice legal apparatus will focus on each "case involved" officer without bias and will hold each participant of an investigation to the highest standards of the court. However remember, it will be you and only you alone on the stand. It will be your testimony relating to your individual "cause and effect" activity during the course of an investigation, which will be examined, attacked and judged by the court. The prosecution will guide your testimony but the defense will scrutinize you, your testimony and the entirety of the case. It is only how well you are prepared for this ordeal that will determine success and/or failure.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate testimony skills.
  2. Display an increased knowledge and awareness of the court process.
  3. Exhibit the understanding of language pragmatics during cross examination.
  4. Demonstrate increased listening skills.
  5. Describe the proper dress requirements for success and the importance of your appearance.
  6. Exhibit the understanding of the court and its function.
  7. Recognize the anticipation of defense strategies and tactics.
  8. Describe the importance of physical evidence and preparation prior to trial for its presentation.
  9. Display knowledge of understanding the importance of note taking and its relevance during testimony.
  10. Exhibit the understanding of the necessity of pre-criminal trial preparation relationship with the prosecutor.
  11. List civil litigation awareness, preparation and testimony strategies.
  12. Display an understanding of how to minimize testimony pitfalls.
  13. Describe basic common definitions for testimony validity.


Course Length

2 days (16 hours)

Who May Attend This Course