The Lady Justice is considered as the emblematic personification of the moral force behind humankind’s judicial system. You’ll see her blindfolded while holding a sword and beam balance. The beam balance signifies she will weigh your arguments and evidence before giving her verdict. On the other hand, the blade suggests that justice will always be expeditious and final. Lastly, the blindfold means the Lady Justice will always remain impartial as she weighs the case before tilting it in one’s favor.
McCunn Law suggests that you can elicit a proper answer on the question ‘do character witnesses matter in family law cases by simply looking at Lady Justice. You could never maintain impartiality if you bring character witnesses related to or close to the party of the case. Though your father, mother, sibling, or friend knows you personally, they could be biased in the eyes of the court. Your opposing top rated family law attorney can simply attack your witnesses and have them thrown out of court for being prejudicial.
Eligibility of witnesses
There are three different types of witnesses in a case, and they are the following — lay witness, expert witness, and character witness. Among the three, the character witness could be considered less convincing as their designation emanates from their relationship and affinity with the case party.
Lay witnesses are lay people who witnessed the felony and are expected to relay what they saw in court. On the other hand, expert witnesses are considered ‘friends of the court’ because their expertise allows them to give expert, credible opinions that can be used as the basis for the judge’s decision. Lastly, character witnesses are people who may not have witnessed the commission of the offense but are often called in to testify to speak about the character of a party in the dispute. They could be family members, neighbors, or acquaintances who could describe the victim or defendant’s personality before the case.
Based on the definition, you can say that the most eligible among these witnesses are the lay and expert witnesses. The lay witness could be considered an eye witness as he witnessed the crime. On the other hand, the expert witness can give a scientific or technical explanation on a complex topic for the judge to determine who is guilty of the offense. These two witnesses are often not related to any of the parties, so they have no stake in the outcome. They are credible this way because of the absence of a relationship that may tarnish their impartiality.
Other witnesses instead of family and friends
When you have no choice but to bring in character witnesses in court, choose people you know who are not related to you by blood or affinity. This means skip bringing your father, mother, children, or friends in for questioning. While they could be admitted as witnesses, their testimonies could end up being futile because your relationship with them could be a point of attack for the opposing counsel. No matter how accurate their words are, your opposing counsel will always brand them as bias and prejudicial.
To keep your family members from being tormented before the jury, spare them and look for non-related people who can vouch for your moral standing. For example, in a child custody case, you can ask your child’s basketball coach or homeroom teacher to testify for you. For instance, in a divorce case, you can ask your pastor or homeowners’ association officers to testify instead of your parents. These people are not related to you and are less likely to be attacked for being biased.
To recapitulate, the short and direct answer to the question ‘do character witnesses matter in family law cases?’ is yes. And though no law prohibits family members from testifying on your respectable personality, the court couldn’t promise that they will not be subjects of doubts and objections. You need to be wise and strategic as to who you bring in to fight alongside you. When you choose witnesses, go for those whom the other party couldn’t attack on the grounds of objectivity, standing, and accuracy of testimony. With these witnesses, you’re one step closer to owning the case.