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Victim/Witness Unit: We know that your involvement in the Criminal Justice System is essential to the Prosecutor's Office. Without your support, the Criminal Justice System cannot operate successfully. Therefore, it is our function to take steps to minimize the inconvenience and uncertainty associated with participation in the prosecution of your case.

SERVICES PROVIDED

  • Information about the Court System
  • Information about your case and its progress
  • A private and secure waiting area in the Courthouse
  • Information about transportation, parking, and child care services
  • Assistance in filing of claims with the Victim of Crime Compensation Board
  • Property return assistance and information
  • Employer intervention
  • Information about self-help groups and social service agencies

 

Crime Victim's Bill of Rights

  • To be treated with dignity and compassion by the criminal justice system;
  • to be informed about criminal justice process;
  • to be free from intimidation;
  • to have the inconvenience associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized to the fullest extent possible;
  • to make at least one telephone call provided the call is reasonable in both length and location called;
  • to get medical assistance, if in the judgment of the law enforcement agency medical assistance appears necessary;
  • to be notified if presence in court is not needed;
  • to be informed about available remedies, financial assistance and social services;
  • to be compensated for your loss whenever possible;
  • to be provided a secure, but not necessarily separate, waiting area during court proceedings;
  • to be advised of case progress and final disposition; to the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence;
  • to submit a written statement about the impact of the crime to a representative of the County Prosecutor's Office which shall be considered prior to the prosecutor's final decision concerning whether formal criminal charges will be filed;
  • to make, prior to sentencing, an in-person statement directly to the sentencing court concerning the impact of the crime.

 

Witness Guidelines

  1. You will be sworn to tell the truth at all times. Do so by answering accurately about what you know.
  2. Do not try to memorize your testimony. Just think about what happened and answer the questions.
  3. Listen carefully to the questions. If you do not understand the question, ask that it be explained or repeated.
  4. Do not guess. If you do not know the answer, say so. Think carefully before answering questions about the amount of time that passed. Try to relate your answers about distances to objects in the courtroom, if you can.
  5. Always speak up, and answer as clearly as you can.
  6. Do not volunteer information. Only answer the questions that are asked.
  7. If there is an objection, or if the Judge interrupts, stop your answer immediately.
  8. Always be courteous, even if the lawyer asking questions of you is not. Your politeness will make a good impression on the jury and the Judge.
  9. Neatness in your appearance and proper attire are also very important.
  10. Never lose your temper. Stay calm at all times while you are being questioned.