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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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For summary trials, is it better to bring only one witness?

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For summary trials, is it better to bring only one witness? Or is it better to have two witnesses at the trial if both of them were present?

My relative has a summary trial coming up soon. One of his neighbor's filed a private criminal complaint at a magisterial district court. My relative has two witnesses that were with him at the day of the alleged incident. He wants to know if he should bring both of them, since that would mean two people saying the same thing. Or would it be better to bring just one since then there is less of a chance that there will be a discrepancy over trivial details if the judge starts asking super-specific questions?

It depends on how good the witnesses are at reciting the events and standing up to questioning. In general, if they are good witnesses, it is good to have extra corroboration of the events. In a trial like this where it is one person's word against another, the more people who can substantiate your relative's story, the better. Minor inconsistencies between the stories are not detrimental, and in fact, are usually beneficial (minor differences in the story suggest that the parties are telling the truth rather than making it seem like they compared and rehearsed their versions). But if one of them doesn't have a particularly good memory of what happened, or if they get really nervous or wouldn't make a good witness, then that person may not help the case and one witness would be better.
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