How Do You Evaluate the Credibility of a Witness?

When a judge instructs a jury to consider all of the evidence admitted at trial, it doesn’t mean that the jury must accept all the evidence as true or accurate. Jurors should decide whether they believe what each witness had to say, and how important that testimony was. In making that decision, jurors may believe or disbelieve any witness, in whole or in part. Moreover, the number of witnesses testifying concerning a particular point doesn’t necessarily matter. To decide whether to believe any witness, jurors should consider the following matters:

  1. Did the witness appear to be telling the truth?

  2. Did the witness have any particular reason not to tell the truth?

  3. Did the witness have a personal interest in the outcome of the case?

  4. Did the witness seem to have a good memory?

  5. Did the witness have the opportunity and ability to accurately observe the things he or she testified about?

  6. Did the witness appear to understand the questions clearly and answer them directly?

  7. Did the witness’s testimony differ from other testimony or other evidence?

Please contact Joel Ewusiak for legal assistance with your particular matter.