Witness Interviewing 101

Witness interviews are a crucial part of any investigation. Witnesses can sometimes be unreliable, and it is up to a trained professional to examine them and determine what information they may have relating to a case. Witnesses can validate statements made by complainants, defendants, or other subjects, or they can provide other valuable information pertaining to a person’s character. Because witness testimony is so important to a case, it’s essential to plan your interview carefully and make the witness comfortable with the process so they can provide you with the best information they have. That’s why many attorneys turn to Barefoot Professional Investigations for legal witness interviews in Charlotte NC. Here’s a look at the interview process.  

Guide to Investigation Interviews

Witnesses often cooperate with private investigators (PI) because the witnesses are approached with a strategy. The investigator knows what interview questions they will ask before talking with the witness and where the interview will take place. The interview can take place in the witness’s home or in a place of mutual interest with little distraction. Another option may be at the PI’s office. 

The witness interview is written into a witness statement that is signed by the witness. Investigators do this so they cannot change their story at a later date. Interviews are done as quickly as possible after an incident or crime, when the incident is still fresh in their mind. This is also to prevent witness tampering from the opposing side. 

Often people think the reason for interviewing a witness is for a crime, but some other reasons include child custody cases, divorces, identification of a person, and clarifying an incident.

Types of Interviews

When interviewing a witness, an investigator conducts one of three types of interviews: eyewitness, character, and expert witness interviews. Eyewitness is the most common. An eyewitness is someone who saw the crime or other incident actually happen and has direct information about that event.

Character witnesses can speak about the defendant’s character or on behalf of someone during divorce or other court proceedings.

Expert witnesses are those that specialize in a certain field and are called on to provide technical analysis or knowledge during a court hearing. 

Detectives have separate interview questions for each type of witness, and they prepare for each witness interview differently.

Our Process for Conducting a Witness Interview

Barefoot Private Investigations conducts witness interviews regularly. We walk the witness through any events that may have happened. We ask questions as to the character of a person and dig for information the witness may have relating to the issue at hand. We pull details to the forefront to prepare the case for our client. 

These witnesses have valuable information for your case, and the right questions must be asked to bring it forward. Barefoot PI has worked on over 900 cases, providing ethical interviews for our clients. For more information on how we can help with your investigation, contact Barefoot PI today.

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