How reliable is child testimony?

Is a child's testimony less reliable in court?

In the end, it is the responsibility of jurors to determine whether, as with any witness, a child witness’s testimony is believable. In considering the testimony, jurors must consider not only the child witness’s age but also the factors that are important for all witnesses, such as:

  • Did they understand the questions?
  • Does they have a good memory?
  • Are they telling the truth?

Jurors will ideally give the testimony of a child witness fair weight.

Should the child be able to understand the seriousness of them testifying?

Yes, they should. Because some young children may not fully understand what is happening when they are testifying as a child witness, jurors must consider whether a child witness understood the seriousness of his or her appearance as a witness.

Note also that some young children, more so than others, receive influence by the way questions are asked. It is the responsibilities of jurors to determine whether the child witness understands questions asked of him or her.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME OR YOUR CHILD IS CALLED AS A WITNESS IN A CASE, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.

CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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