Child Witness in Criminal Court Proceedings Must Be Qualified
In order for a child to be a witness in a criminal proceeding, the child must prove to the court that he/she knows the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie. Both the ADA and defense attorney will question a child in front of a judge to test the child’s memory of past events and understanding of the truth and lies. Sometimes this is difficult and the child cannot be used as a witness. Most of the time child witnesses do “qualify” and, therefore, can be questioned about what happened and who did it. It is important to remember that even if the child is not “qualified” by the court, this does not mean the child is making up a story of abuse.