I am going to be summoned to court as a witness. I've been advised that as long as I turn up I can refuse to give evidence, is this correct? I just want to make sure before I get myself into trouble! It shouldn't be a shock to anyone as I retracted my statement and said that I would refuse if summoned, the officer who I spoke to was surprised that they are summoning me.
This is what I'm worried about. I know I have to attend court and can live with that, I just don't want to give evidence. A police officer has said that I just need to speak to the prosecution when I go to make them aware. We aren't talking hardened criminals here, more like plain stupidity!
In civil proceedings and I think criminal too (what court is it OP?) you're entitled to conduct money. This is meant to represent your reasonable costs of coming to court. Contact those who have summoned you and set out your child care cost and travel cost.
If it's a crown court case the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest to bring you before the court. You will stay in the holding cells until you give evidence.
If it's magistrates its a bit more grey. The magistrates in our area never issue bench warrants for witnesses but this may be different in your area.
It is not worth taking the risk, especially if you have bern summoned to crown court. I am a witness care officer in a south eastern police force and i always tell my unwilling witnesses that refusing to engage is not going to make the court go away.
What are the reasons for not wanting to go ? You may be able to get special measures to make attending easier (videolink or screens)
And in relation to refusing to answer questions - our crown court resident judge was very hardline and has had people charged with pervert for refusing to answer questions. Magistrates, again, reluctant to use their powers