Fact Witness

Definition - What does Fact Witness mean?

A fact witness is one who has first-hand knowledge of the event in question, and who was called to give evidence on what they saw. The fact witness holds a lot of weight within the case itself, and can be the definitive piece of information that will decide the case.

The witness is subject to being cross-examined to solidify their account of events, which can be either helpful or unhelpful to the defense based on the quality of the first-hand account. For instance, if the fact witness is reporting something that they saw, it is important that their sight can be relied on. So if the witness is partially blind, this might hinder their evidence and bring it in to question.

Justipedia explains Fact Witness

The first-hand witness must testify in court under oath as to the events that they personally saw.

If the case relates to a criminal trial, and there is reason to believe that the witness would be unsafe while they await the trial, it is customary to place the fact witness into protective custody until the sentence has been delivered. This could mean that the witness is forced to stay in a protected environment such as a hotel, or that police officers might guard the witness at their own property.

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