Victim Assistance

Felony Court Proceedings

You have the right to attend the following hearings unless otherwise noted:

First Appearance

The First Appearance hearing must occur within 48 hours of an arrest. The judge will determine if the arrest of the defendant was legal. Bond may be considered. Bond is a financial agreement to ensure the defendant shows up as required.

All Purpose Calendar

The State and the Defense attorneys have the opportunity to discuss the issues surrounding the case. A Plea of Guilty may be entered or bond may be considered.

Preliminary Hearing

The Preliminary hearing may be held to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to the Grand Jury. You may be notified that you are required to testify.

Bond Hearing

A Defendant has the right to request bond throughout the various hearings that have been described. Bond is set as an assurance that the Defendant will appear at every required hearing up to and including trial. You should plan to attend this hearing, and you may be given the opportunity to express your opinion to the court regarding the request for bond.

Grand Jury

The Grand Jury is a closed hearing in which testimony is presented to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. If so, an indictment is issued.

Trial

A jury of 12 citizens will listen to testimony and determine whether the Defendant is guilty or not guilty. All 12 jurors must agree that the Defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for there to be a conviction. Witnesses are subpoenaed for trials and your participation is needed for successful prosecution, so please plan to attend.

Sentencing

Sentencing will not always occur on the same day as a Guilty Verdict or a Plea of Guilty. Victims have the right to address the Judge regarding how the crime has affected them, as well as their feelings about sentencing – this is known as a “Victim Impact Statement,” and can be given verbally or in writing.

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