When can a child testify in criminal court? This question comes up mostly in sex cases in Jacksonville when a child is the alleged victim. The court has to evaluate the child’s “competence” to testify.
When a child’s competency is at issue, the court considers:
1. Whether the child is capable of observing and recalling facts.
2. Whether the child is capable of narrating those facts to a court or to the jury.
3. Whether the child has a moral sense of the obligation to tell the truth.
A Jacksonville Sex Crimes Lawyer or the judge questions the child and the child’s responses have to be sufficient to demonstrate the obligation to tell the truth.