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Five Tips for Testifying in Court

If you’re a private investigator, chances are you may be called upon to testify in court.  There are a variety of reasons you may have to testify in court, and it all will really depend on the type of private investigation career you have.  In order to be a professional witness, you should know the following tips in order to be a competent and experienced investigator.

Tip #1 – Only respond to questions that are asked of you.  Don’t volunteer information.  When you do answer any questions, make sure to keep it brief.

Tip #2 – Be respectful of the judge, the court, the opposing counsel and any other individuals whom with you may come into contact.  You will be a poor representative of your client if you decide to show any sign of contempt in this situation.

Tip #3 – Confidence.  Confidence.  Confidence.  You are an expert in your field.  Have confidence in everything that you say in your testimony.  You are only there to provide the information that you know to the best of your ability.

Tip #4 – Do not bring your investigative file into court.  If you bring anything into the courtroom, it could potentially be submitted as evidence if the opposing counsel requests it.  If you feel like you’re going to need a list of dates or numbers that are hard to remember, ask your client about it before going to trial.  They may have prepared that information for you and will bring it into the courtroom.

Tip #5 – Tell the truth.  This may seem like an obvious tip, but you would be surprised that many people feel like they need to embellish the truth to make a better case.  This will only hurt the case and your client in the long run.

For more information on how to obtain a private investigator license or more resources for private investigators, visit the National Investigative Training Academy website http://investigativeacademy.com.  We provide online training for private investigators in several areas of the United States.

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