Can you answer I don't remember in court?

Asked by: Dr. Estella Bernier  |  Last update: August 6, 2023
Score: 4.7/5 (9 votes)

“I don't know” is a perfectly good responses (as long as it's the truth). “I don't remember,” “I don't recall,” and “I don't recall at the present time” are all perfectly good responses. If true, the best is, “I don't recall at the present time,” because it makes it easier to change your answer if you later do recall.

Is it OK to say I dont remember in court?

Rule number six: If you don't remember, say so. A witness can only testify to what he or she clearly remembers. This is not what we're used to. In our normal conversations, we rarely say just, "I don't recall" and then stop.

Is it perjury to say you don t remember?

Any time you provide testimony in a criminal case (yours or someone else's) under oath, whether it's verbally or in writing, you're required to tell the truth. If you don't, you could potentially face perjury charges.

What do you say when you don't know the answer in court?

If you do not know, or cannot remember, say so. Do not guess or make up an answer. You can be positive about important things which you naturally would remember. If you are asked about little details which a person naturally would not remember, and you're unsure of the answer, it is best just to say so.

Can you decline to answer a question in court?

The testimony would incriminate yourself – Under the Fifth Amendment in the Constitution, you have the right to avoid giving any evidence that could self-incriminate you. In most cases, you can plead the Fifth Amendment, which legally allows you to refuse answering questions.

How to Testify in Court -- The Holy Trinity of Testimony

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Can you choose not to speak in court?

The underlying principle behind the right to remain silent is that prosecutors cannot compel criminal defendants to be witnesses against themselves. That is what it means to “plead the Fifth.” That is, you are exercising your constitutional right to not speak in court and not to incriminate yourself.

Do you have to answer yes or no in court?

Give the answer in your own words, and if a question can't be truthfully answered with "yes" or "no," you have the right to explain your answer. Answer only the question asked you.

What should you never say in court?

Never, ever say anything you know to be untrue on the stand. Not only did you swear to tell the truth before you started testifying, but any lie you utter can haunt you if the other side figures it out. If they can prove you lied just once, everything you said during your testimony is suspect.

Can you say no when asked to tell the truth in court?

Then you would be in contempt of court. If you will affirm, not swear to tell the truth, then your testimony would be taken. If you refuse even to affirm the truthfulness of your testimony, you would not be allowed to testify and you would be jailed for contempt.

How do you answer difficult questions in court?

Give positive, definite answers when at all possible. Avoid saying, “I think”, “I believe”, or “In my opinion” if you can answer positively. If you do know, then say so. You can be positive about important things which you would naturally remember.

Why do witnesses say I do not recall?

Unlike saying "I don't know," which affirmatively states a lack of any knowledge, not recalling something implies that you may or may not have ever known anything, but as you sit there, you are unable to call forth a specific recollection.

Is an honest mistake perjury?

For something to be perjury, a prosecutor has to prove that the person knowingly and intentionally made a false statement. Normally, it isn't considered perjury if someone made an honest mistake, had a lapse in memory or simply forgot certain facts.

Do people get caught for perjury?

Perjury is rarely charged, and it is difficult for prosecutors to prove. However, the threat of perjury charges is often a tool lawyers use to ensure that witnesses provide candid testimony to the court.

Can a memory be used in court?

In criminal law, the use of repressed memories as evidence is generally met with skepticism and may not be admitted if the court finds them unreliable or if the process of recovering the memories involves suggestive techniques.

What is the difference between I don't know and I don't remember?

Naïve and expert participants defined “I don't know” (DK) and “I don't remember” (DR). DR was associated with lack of accessibility and forgetting, whereas DK was associated with never having learned the information.

What happens if you say nothing in court?

If you properly assert your right to remain silent, your silence cannot be used against you in court. If your case goes to jury trial, the jury would be given a specific instructions not to consider your silence as an admission of guilt.

Can you refuse to raise your right hand?

Today, it is customary that when a witness takes the stand, the witness is prompted to raise their right hand and take an oath to tell the truth. This brings up the issue of Mr. Jakubowski when he refused to raise his hand. There is no constitutional provision requiring the witness to raise their hand to take an oath.

Can you ask a witness a yes no question?

Maintain control by adhering to traditional rules of cross-examination: Ask only leading questions, ask only questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no,” and never ask a question unless it's absolutely necessary and you know the answer. Ask questions that dare the witness to disagree with you.

Does telling the truth help in court?

It is likely that just telling the judge the truth about the situation could result in a harsh sentence, but it can also lead to the charges being dropped or you receiving a lesser sentence.

What not to say in front of a judge?

Never make a definitive statement

Always say "that is all I remember" instead of "That is everything, nothing else," as it leaves room for correction. You can get yourself in trouble this way and make it seem like you were hiding something in your original statement.

Can you cuss at a judge?

Contempt can be criminal or civil. Criminal contempt is an action that impugns the integrity of the court or brings the court into disrepute. For example, yelling curse words at a judge would be direct criminal contempt of court.

What questions Cannot be asked in court?

Compound question

Compound questions are not allowed because they can confuse the witness, the judge, and the jury. Also, it may not be clear for the court record which of the questions the witness is answering.

What is a good color to wear to court?

The best colors to wear to court are conservative colors (e.g., white, light or dark gray, navy, dark blue, etc.) and avoid bright and loud colors. Make sure the color of your belt matches the color of your dress shoes.

What if you say no to the judge?

If you refuse to answer a question that the judge allows, you can be found in contempt of court and sent to jail for a short time.

What do lawyers say in court when they don't agree?

When a lawyer says "objection" during court, he is telling the judge that he thinks his opponent violated a rule of procedure. The judge's ruling determines what the jury is allowed to consider when deciding the verdict of a case.