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Lawyer for the witness. Interrogation as a witness

"You didn’t have to be a witness"! Remember how in the famous movie?

You immediately ask the question: why is the witness a lawyer? After all, he is not suspected of committing a criminal offense. Well, if we are talking about a person who falls under the shadow of a crime - this is one thing.

Such a person needs a lawyer at any stage: when he is still a suspect, already accused or defendant. This person either committed a criminal offense or did not commit one, but due to the circumstances, he is suspected of committing it.

A lawyer in the first case will help this person mitigate his responsibility (and a nosy lawyer may possibly avoid it altogether), and in the second he will prove his innocence and seek the court to acquit.

As for the witness, he, as a law-abiding person, does not seem to need a lawyer at all ... So, but not quite so.

Witness, as future suspect

We will not hide the existence of such an expression that any witness is a potential suspect. There are significant differences in the responsibility of the suspect and witness for the testimony they give to the investigator.

A suspect may refuse to testify at all. If he agrees to give them, but is not responsible for their veracity.

The witness, in principle, is obliged to testify, which must be true and bear criminal responsibility for their truthfulness.

It is at this discord that a policeman, investigator, prosecutor can play, who can pre-mark himself as a future suspect or determine for himself as the person to whom he is going to blame. However, to begin with, he will summon him for questioning as a witness.

In this case, you will find yourself in a delicate situation, when it seems impossible to refuse to testify and you cannot be tempted. After all, replaying then the initial testimony can be very difficult. As they say, what is written with a pen ...

Many citizens know that a witness may refuse to testify, using his rights under Art. 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine, but often in certain situations they forget about it.

At the same time, law enforcement officers often interpret this in such a way that in your case they will interrogate you as a witness about persons who do not have a family or family relationship with you and that therefore you are required to testify. In this case, you need to decide on the advisability of giving evidence. Do not believe the police, you can refuse to testify according to Art. 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine at any stage of the process.

At the same time, it may be necessary to testify where to name witnesses in your favor or attach copies of documents to the interrogation. Evidence of your innocence. The solution to the aforementioned problem is unlikely to go well without the lawyer, whom it is advisable to find before the interrogation and coordinate his legal position with him.

Witness, just a witness.

Not always having received a call for interrogation as a witness, you initially understand the subject of this interrogation. Are you required to appear and testify?

If necessary, the investigator or prosecutor has the right to call someone during the pre-trial investigation, and the person who received the summons is obliged to appear on call. The described standards are enshrined in the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine and according to Article 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine, the investigator or prosecutor is entitled to call a person during a pre-trial investigation, if there is sufficient reason to believe that he can give evidence relevant to the criminal proceedings or his participation in the procedural action is compulsory. At the same time, according to clause 1, part 2, article 66 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Ukraine, the witness is obliged to arrive on call to the investigator, prosecutor.

By agreeing to testify and unexpectedly, already during the interrogation, you can realize that the police are "digging" under your head. And you will want to, so to speak, get around sharp corners, but it will be too late and the investigator will not let you go. Moreover, he will exert psychological pressure and scare him with criminal liability, including for giving false testimonies. In order to avoid this, we can recommend coming to the interrogation only accompanied by a lawyer. Moreover, the law expressly provides for the existence of such a right.

This approach will completely exclude “informal communication” with the investigator, as well as psychological pressure on his part. Often, investigators become somehow sad when they see a witness accompanied by a lawyer on their doorstep and ask: “Why do you need a lawyer?” But in our opinion, it is better to let the investigator, and not you, remain sad after the interrogation.

Who is the witness?

If we turn to the law, a witness is a citizen whom:

  • • There are known circumstances that must be proved during criminal proceedings;
  • • or circumstances may be known

and such a citizen is called to testify.

In other words, you can be questioned as a witness, if you are an eyewitness to a criminal misconduct, or an eyewitness to its consequences, you saw or know about events that preceded the crime, or occurred after its commission, or you know something about other circumstances that have direct or indirect relation to a criminal offense.

The law also establishes a list of persons who cannot be questioned as a witness. They are united by the fact that the information of interest to the investigation was received by them in the course of fulfilling their professional duties. Such persons include lawyers, notaries, medical workers, clergy, etc.

What is the legal status of the witness.

Briefly dwell on the rights and duties of a witness.

Witness Rights:

  • • know why and in which criminal case he was called;
  • • involve a lawyer in the interrogation;
  • • refuse to testify against themselves, close relatives and members of their family, which may become the basis for their suspicion, accusation of commission, criminal misconduct;
  • • testify in his native or other language that he is fluent in and use the assistance of an interpreter;
  • • use notes and documents when giving testimony in cases where the testimony relates to any calculations and other information that is difficult for him to keep in mind;
  • • for reimbursement of expenses related to the call to testify;
  • • get acquainted with the protocol of interrogation and submit petitions for amendments, additions and comments to it, as well as make such additions and comments with your own hand;
  • • submit security applications;
  • • challenge the translator.

Witness must:

  • • arrive on the summons for interrogation;
  • • give evidence that is true;
  • • Do not disclose the secret of the investigation without the permission of the investigator.

Were you summoned for questioning as a witness?
Are you afraid of rudeness, psychological pressure from the investigator and possible problems in the future?
Contact our law firm! Our lawyers will accompany you at all stages of this procedure, achieve a positive result!

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