Course: Evidence Law
A lay witness is an individual who provides testimony in court or a legal proceeding based on their own personal knowledge or experience rather than as an expert witness.
Lay witnesses are typically individuals who have observed or experienced events that are relevant to the case being tried.
Lay witnesses may be called upon to testify in criminal or civil trials and in other legal proceedings such as hearings, depositions, or arbitration. They may be called by either the prosecution or defense and their testimony is intended to help the judge or jury understand the facts of the case.
Examples of lay witnesses may include eyewitnesses to a crime, victims of a crime, or individuals who have personal knowledge of a particular event or circumstance relevant to the case. Lay witnesses are typically not required to have specialized knowledge or training but are expected to provide truthful and accurate testimony based on their personal experience.
In court, lay witnesses are generally subject to cross-examination by the opposing party’s attorney, and their testimony may be challenged or contradicted by other witnesses or evidence presented in the case.
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Last Modified: 03/09/2023