How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Max Sandford Your Own Question
Max Sandford
Max Sandford, Criminal Defence and Immigration
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 111
Experience:  ICS - Law
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Max Sandford is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What will happen if i refuse to give evidence in court. If

Customer Question

What will happen if i refuse to give evidence in court. If theres a fine how much will it be?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
Nothing at all! However you must attend court if you receive a summons.

I believe I have answered your question, as such would ask you to please click accept. Once you have done this you may ask follow-up questions.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
let me re-word... I have been told i must attend court to give evidence. I dont want to go. I want to know the outcome of what will happen if i get ordered by the judge and still refuse to give evidence. what are the fines or punishments etc.
Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
You do not have to give evidence, you can simply state you do not remember etc. HOWEVER you MUST attend. Failure to do so will result in an arrest warrant being issued for yourself, you are then liable to be fined and imprisoned in the most extreme cases.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What is the maximum fine and sentence applicable to me?
Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
£5000 or 14 days custody. I would not advise this.

I believe I have answered your question, as such would ask you to please click accept. Once you have done this you may ask follow-up questions.
Max Sandford and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If i avoid the poilce for the period of the trial (2 and a half weeks) will it blow over? I dont believe im a crucial witness... I cant say i dont remember as they will constantly 'refer me to my statement'
Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
Not in anyway. You can say you no longer remember. What you are doing is illegal. I would like to know how you intend to avoid the police.

When I was a police officer, failure to appear warrants were fairly easy to enforce. You go round to the persons house, round to known associates, vehicles are picked up on ANPR cameras etc.

You will be found, even if after the trial and will be arrested and convicted of a criminal offence.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok, i understand i should go... but these guys are getting done for attempted murder and carrying guns etc etc... I dont really fancy my name being on sky news as their latest victim.

I understand i can stand behind a screen in court but they still say your name in court and where your from. Theres nothing stoping their friends from seeing me entering or leaving court.

Regards XXXXX XXXXX the police i can stay at my mates house in another city, and i dont drive.

Thank you for all your help, if you can think of anything i can say or do to avoid going court it would be greatly appreciated.

Kindest Regards,

Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
Please don't, this will not help.

Express your feelings to the police, they should provide 24/7 police protection for you up until the hearing. You are also eligible for a witness protection scheme if you wish. If you are not a substantial witness, simply stating that you do not remember what happened, and say, you are suffering from depression right now, will most likely mean these criminals will never even consider that you gave any kind of evidence. The witness statement has your name anyway! They will give you police protection after court as well!

I would voice your concerns to the police, there are procedures for cases like these. The police NEED this conviction and WILL help you.

Please don't just not turn up, it can end up much worse!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you again for your help.

I just dont see how the police can help me once they've got what they need. But in the same respect i cant expect them to be around all the time.


Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
Dave, express your concerns to the police. They will provide protection after court and will also place you onto a witness protection scheme should you wish to. They will ensure you are safe.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope it works out OK.
Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
One of my feelow experts has decided they believe it would be lying to state that you do not remember. If you can remember ALL details perfectly, then yes tell the truth, however in my experience, a murder investigation is not a short one, and any person would have trouble remembering all the details. I would prefer to tell the court that I genuinely cannot remember, rather than give false details. That in itself would be considered perjury.

I would advise you talk to the police about this though.
Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
I would advise you use these words if you refuse to give evidence:

"Good morning, you will note that I have answered the terms of my witness summons, I will not however be giving evidence today."

Max Sandford
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thankyou for providing me with more info...

It isn't a murder but an attempted murder and carrying firearms and bullets etc etc i cant remember the full charge list but its pretty big. The guys involved, from i have found out have their 'fingers in lots of pies' when it comes to crime, drugs and fraud etc.

The event did take place in 2007 so it was a very long time ago...I i genuinly dont remember specific details of the case...

I had been asked to attend court early last year but i think the case was adjourned. On that occasion i basically hid and turned my phone off. The police had knocked on my door on a few occasions but i wasn't there. I though thank god its all over but this case has reared its ugly head again...When i got this letter i thought it was a speeding fine, i kind of wish it was now...

I think what worries me most is that i cant remember exactly what i said on my statement... If they refer me to that then i might be in the deep brown stuff.

Before i was 95% sure i wernt going to go, but after speaking to you im 50/50...

If i do go i'll deffo take your advice.

Ill let you know how it turns out.


Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
If you genuinely cannot remember what you wrote, or what actually happened, it would NOT be lying to tell them you cannot remember.

If you really don't want to give evidence and be on the safe side, simply turn up, and tell them you are not going to give evidence, as I suggested above.

I would advise turning up, if anything were to put you in danger it would not be the fact of turning up. Either way, as I said, police protection will be provided.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hello Again,

Just thought i'd drop you a quick email to let you know that i ended up giving evidence...

The police wernt the greatest at keeping the identities a secret (they made us walk through the lobby and the defendants were all standing there).

I gave evidence behind a screen, was all abit nerve racking but hopfully now at least its all over... They'll be sentenced on the 13th.

Thank you again for your help.

Expert:  Max Sandford replied 8 years ago.
No problem. Glad it went OK in the end.