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Evidentiary Issues - Witness Testimony

Tutorial on the crimes of stalking and harassment for New Mexico judges

Evidentiary Issues Regarding Witness Testimony

In a typical stalking or harassment trial, the witnesses presented by the prosecution include:

  • the alleged victim; and
  • the law enforcement officer(s) involved in the investigation.

Depending on the allegations in the case, other prosecution witnesses might include:

  • family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers, who were witnesses to the alleged stalking or harassment and/or who were aware of the impacts it had on the victim;
  • a physician or mental health professional to testify to the impacts the stalking or harassment had upon the victim; and
  • if physical and documentary evidence is presented, such as telephone, email or computer records, the custodian of such documents.

As with all criminal cases, the defendant in a stalking or harassment case cannot be forced to testify, although the defendant does have the right to testify. Other defense witnesses might be persons whose testimony bolsters that of the defendant, provides support for the defendant's alibi or other defense theory, or calls into question the testimony of the victim.