View Full Version : Have you been cross examined?

07-08-2005, 02:39 PM
Hi, anyone been cross examined before in a serious case, my hubby is on trial for murder, I have to give evidence. I have no problem with this in theory because I am telling the truth, but I have panic attacks under these sort of circumstances, so I am just a bit petrified!!! :eek:

Has anyone been there???? can you give me any advise?, I am having hypnotherapy next week but still need all the help I can get. My husband could get 30 years if found guilty, I need to stand up and be strong for him not fall apart. Many thanks Lorna

07-08-2005, 03:40 PM
We were facing ten years, so I guess that is serious. One thing I wished somebody had said to me was, take time to breathe! don't let the prosecutor rush your words, cause they will try. Stop and replay the question in your head and think before you speak. Look them in the eye if you possibly can. Be yourself as much as possible.

07-08-2005, 05:03 PM
Cross examnation can be tough. Keeping composure is important. One of his lawyers should get someone you aren't familiar with to do mock exam with you several times. Practice and knowledge of the unknown will help. It also helps to go into the empty courtroom with an to get a feel for the place.

Practically, breathing is important. Also repeating the question to your self to make sure you have heard it correctly. If you don't understand ask them to repeat. And only answer what is asked, volunteer absolutely nothing. Don't try to anticipate where he is going, just stick to the facts as you know them. Keep your demanor pleasant because the jury can negate info if they get riled up by you. Many of these people have never even been in a trial before. It's the defense lawyers job to defend, not yours. The prosecutor is not in charge, the judge is and you are talking to the jury. So don't be afraid of prosecutor. You have the truth on your side. TAking time and being anticipatory as you are doing will serve you well, as will a positive expectation.

A hypnotherpist may be fine, but a psychiatrist who is used to helping witnesses may also be good. Beta Blockers can help with composure but not affect your thinking process. you might want to explore that. I wish you the best of luck and the best outcome.

07-21-2005, 06:55 PM
Yes, several times.

07-21-2005, 07:20 PM
I have never been cross examined in court, but I have talked to the D.A. before the trial. I only agreed to that because I thought we were going to talk about child support and it turned out it was against my husband. I told them I knew nothing and he tried to make it sound like my husband was cheating on me, he said all the numbers on his cell phone were girls (after investigating that, I found out they were numbers of his friends but it was in the wives name). My advise is be real careful what you say, they have a tendency to turn it against them. Even in my case where I knew nothing.

Good Luck
My prayers are with you

07-21-2005, 07:34 PM
Just be careful of what you NOT give too much information!! If they ask you something...answer what you KNOW and only what you KNOW for sure. Don't let them trick you into answering questions the way THEY want you to. Just try to stay calm...and look up as much as possible...that way they can see that you are confident in your answers. Just do the best you can and try to stay calm. You will do fine!! GOOD LUCK!! Hugs:p

09-08-2005, 09:52 PM
:angry: I haven't had to testify, yet! Thank-you all for the insight.:D The angry face is due to finding out the hard way, how the legal system can take advantage of you. I'm glad I followed my instincts & consulted an attorney. They were, the DA, being told lies about me from the PO. Very complicated, could of gotten serious had I not persisted someone talk to me. So for now, all is fine with me in that aspect. Best advice I could give, just be yourself! Afterall you have to live with you.:thumbsup:

09-27-2005, 01:27 PM
Yes, I have been cross examined twice. Once by a Grand Jury and the other time in the general courtroom. It was a terrifying experience for me.

However, what the attorneys did with me was to take me into the empty courtroom and showed me where everyone would be sitting. That helped alot. It isn't always like what we see on TV.

They also told me to listen to the questions and try to just answer the question yes or no. Do not volunteer anything. Sometimes it is the extra info that we add to our answers that can cause trouble and can also open the door so the other side can further cross examine us.

They also told me to remember to breathe deeply and by taking a deep breath before those diffiult questions, I was able to move past alot of the anxiety.

Another pointer for me was when I was asked to identify the person, of course you have to turn and look at the person and I knew I was going to have a real fear doing that. I had to identify what he was wearing that day, so naturally, I had to look at him. WRONG! They told me where he would be sitting and to not look him in the face but on the top of his head. So I did that and of course I could see what he had on and identify him.

If you do not understand a question, just say I am sorry I do not understand your question could you repeat it or clarify it for me.

Good luck to you. Breathe in and out slowly as much as you can. I am sure you will be just fine.

09-30-2005, 08:44 AM
that was great advice you gave. i've never been cross examined, but have been questioned personally by the FBI for another case my sister is involved in now. and although they were calm about it, i found myself getting so nervous answering the questions because i didn't want to say anything wrong or say something the wrong way, and i was thinking, "omg...what if they make me go to court for her?!?!" so now i know i may have to go to court one day and be cross examined because they come and question me so much. it's not quite the same, but it's just as nervewracking, because they write down everything you say! and one tip that you said that REALLY helped me was the breathing thing. when they question me, i don't just rush into an answer. i take a huge breath, and really THINK about what they're asking me before i just blurt an answer. and definitely, if they purposely make a question confusing, or if i just don't understand, i look blankly at them and ask them to repeat. one time i was holding my neice and she was so fussy while they were questioning me. i guess they took that as the good time to ask because i was distracted, and they really piled them on then. but she got so whiny that i was like, "excuse me, i have to take care of the baby!" and i got up, quieted her down, and then felt more clearheaded. so sometimes you have to just clear your head before you can go on, and they can't really stop you from doing that.