What happens after the trial if you're a witness

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You might want to leave court after giving evidence. But the trial will carry on and you can sit in the courtroom to listen to the rest or come back to see the verdict.

You might also find it helpful to talk about the experience with someone from the Witness Service before you leave the court.

If you want to find out the result of the trial

At the end of the trial, the court will give the result - the defendant will be found guilty or not guilty. If they’re found guilty, the court will give them a sentence - this will happen either immediately after the trial or on another day.

If you were a witness for the prosecution, the Witness Care Unit (or the police) will let you know the outcome of the trial. If the defendant was found guilty, the Witness Care Unit will also tell you the sentence and explain what it means.

If you were a witness for the defence, you can contact the court or the defence lawyer who will let you know the outcome.

If you were the victim of the crime, you can provide a statement at the hearing when the defendant is sentenced - if you want to. Making a statement will let you explain how the crime has affected you. The police will tell you more about making a statement and how to get support.

Find out more about sentencing.

If you’re worried about being intimidated because you appeared as a witness

Tell the police straight away. You can also ask the Witness Service to put you in touch with organisations for more help and support.

What to do if you’re worried about being intimidated.

What happens if there’s an appeal

If there’s an appeal against the sentence or conviction, it's very unlikely you'll have to be a witness again.

If you do have to go back to court, someone from the Witness Service can help you again. You can check how to contact the Witness Service.

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