The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
- Subchapter 001: GENERALLY
§ 6601. Respondent as witness
In the trial of complaints, informations, indictments and other proceedings against persons charged with crimes or offenses, the person so charged shall, at his or her own request and not otherwise, be deemed a competent witness. The credit to be given to his or her testimony shall be left solely to the jury, under the instructions of the court but the failure of such person to testify shall not be a matter of comment to the jury by either the court or the prosecutor and shall not be considered by the jury as evidence against him or her.
§ 6602. Repealed. 1973, No. 118, § 25, eff. Oct. 1, 1973.
§ 6603. Failure to obey summons to testify
A person legally summoned to attend a court in this State to testify in a criminal cause, who willfully or wrongfully refuses to attend and testify, shall be fined not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
§ 6604. Counseling or aiding in nonattendance of witness
A person who knowingly and wrongfully counsels, aids, or assists a person so summoned to testify, to absent himself or herself from attendance before such court, shall be fined not more than $50.00 nor less than $10.00.
§ 6605. Recognizance by witness; commitment
In a proceeding before a court or magistrate for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense, the court or magistrate may order any witness appearing before such court or magistrate to enter into a sufficient recognizance with surety for his or her appearance before any court or magistrate where his or her attendance in such investigation or prosecution is necessary. If the witness refuses to enter into such recognizance with surety, he or she may be committed to jail in the county where his or her attendance as a witness is required, on a warrant of the court or magistrate making the order, and there detained until such time as his or her attendance to testify is required.
§ 6606. Separate examination of witnesses
On the trial of a person for a criminal offense or on the examination of a person charged therewith before a Criminal Division of the Superior Court, on the request of the prosecuting attorney or the party accused, the court shall have the witnesses examined separately and apart from each other. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative February 1, 1967; 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 54, eff. April 9, 1974; 2009, No. 154, § 238.)
§ 6607. Disclosure of confidential records; notice to prosecution
When a defendant seeks access to a victim’s school records, or to any other records of a victim that are by law confidential, the defendant shall provide written notice to the prosecutor that the records have been requested prior to the service of any subpoena requesting the records. (Added 2007, No. 40, § 11.)
- Subchapter 002: UNIFORM ACT TO SECURE THE ATTENDANCE OF WITNESSES FROM WITHOUT THE STATE IN CRIMINAL CASES
§ 6641. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, “action” shall include any proceeding or investigation by a grand jury commenced or about to be commenced, or any action, prosecution or proceeding; “witness” shall include a person whose testimony is desired in any such action; and the word “state” shall include any territory of the United States and District of Columbia.
§ 6642. Summoning witnesses in this State to testify in another state
If a judge of a court of record in any state which by its laws has made provision for commanding persons within that state to attend and testify in an action in this State, certifies under the seal of such court that there is an action pending in that court, that a person being within this State is a material witness in the action, and that his or her presence will be required for a specified number of days, upon presentation of the certificate to any Superior judge in the unit in which the person is, the judge shall fix a time and place for a hearing in the unit and shall notify the witness by an order stating the purpose of the hearing and directing him or her to appear therefor at a time and place certain. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative February 1, 1967; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 110.)
§ 6643. Hearing and summons
If at such hearing the judge determines that the witness is material and necessary, that it will not cause undue hardship to the witness to be compelled to attend and testify in such action in the other state, and that the laws of the state in which such action is pending will give to him or her protection from arrest and the service of civil and criminal process, he or she shall issue a summons, with a copy of the certificate attached, directing the witness to attend and testify in the court where the action is pending at a time and place specified in the summons. In such hearing the certificate shall be prima facie evidence of all the facts stated therein.
§ 6644. Arrest and delivery
If such certificate recommends that the witness be taken into immediate custody and delivered to an officer of the requesting state to ensure his or her attendance in the requesting state, such judge may direct, in lieu of notification of the hearing, that such witness be forthwith brought before him or her for such hearing. If at such hearing the judge is satisfied as to the desirability of such custody and delivery, for which determination the certificate shall be prima facie proof of such desirability, he or she may order, in lieu of issuing subpoena or summons, that such witness be taken forthwith into custody and delivered to an officer of the requesting state; provided, however, that a witness so taken into custody may enter into recognizance for such attendance as provided in section 6605 of this title.
§ 6645. Penalties
If the witness, who is summoned as provided in section 6643 of this title, after being paid or tendered by some properly authorized person the sum of 10 cents a mile for each mile and $10.00 for each day that he or she is required to travel and attend as a witness, fails without good cause to attend and testify as directed in the summons, he or she shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.
§ 6646. Witness from another state summoned to testify in this State
If a person in any state which by its laws has made provision for commanding persons within its borders to attend and testify in an action in this State is a material witness in an action pending in a court of record in this State, a Superior judge may issue a certificate under the seal of the court stating these facts and specifying the number of days the witness will be required. The certificate may include a recommendation that the witness be taken into immediate custody and delivered to an officer of this State to ensure his or her attendance in this State. The certificate shall be presented to a judge of a court of record of the state in which the witness is found. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative February 1, 1967; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 111.)
§ 6647. Fees and penalties
If the witness is summoned to attend and testify in this State, he or she shall be tendered the sum of 10 cents a mile for each mile by the ordinary traveled route to and from the court where such action is pending and $10.00 a day for each day that he or she is required to travel and attend as a witness. The witness fee shall be paid by the party who sought the attendance of the witness. A witness who has appeared in accordance with the provisions of the summons shall not be required to remain within this State a longer period of time than the period mentioned in the certificate, unless ordered by the court. If such witness, after coming into this State, fails without good cause to attend and testify as directed in the summons, he or she shall be punished in the manner provided for in section 6645 of this title. (Amended 1991, No. 245 (Adj. Sess.), § 94(d).)
§ 6648. Exemption from arrest and service of process
(a) If a person comes into this State in obedience to a summons directing him or her to attend and testify in such action in this State, he or she shall not, while in this State pursuant to such summons, be subject to arrest or the service of process, civil or criminal, in connection with matters that arose before his or her entrance under the summons.
(b) If a person passes through this State while going to another state in obedience to a summons to attend and testify in such action in that state or while returning therefrom, he or she shall not while so passing through this State be subject to arrest or the service of process, civil or criminal, in connection with matters that arose before his or her entrance into this State under the summons.
§ 6649. Uniform interpretation
This subchapter shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of the states which enact it.
- Subchapter 003: DEPOSITIONS
§§ 6681-6684. Repealed. 1973, No. 118, § 25, eff. Oct. 1, 1973.
- Subchapter 004: DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY
§§ 6721-6727. Repealed. 1973, No. 118, § 25, eff. Oct. 1, 1973.