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Crafting language for testimony

Submitted by PoliceOne Staff

When it comes time to testify, the language you use in court can play a major role in how effectively you impact the jury and how successfully you can present yourself as a law enforcement professional who should be listened to and trusted. Consistent or over use of street slang and vernacular lockerrom language can have a detrimental effect on your case.

When preparing for a courtroom appearance, take the time to review the terms and phrases you may need to use and evaluate how professional they'll sound when they're presented in public. For example, if you believed that a suspect was going to "kick the crap out of you" consider how that might be rephrased.

If you were "scared shitless" during a high stress armed encounter, find a way to state that without profanity, but with just as much impact.

Remember to practice using the refined phrasing and terminology you have compiled to the point that if you find yourself being grilled on the stand, you don't default under stress to street-level language that may work against you.

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