Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

Prosecution of the Defendant Once a suspect is arrested, there is a time limit determined by state statutes, referred to as speedy trial law, in which the charges must be pled, tried or dismissed through the court system. The judge may allow the prosecution a time extension beyond the speedy trial limit if circumstances arise, such as requests for extensions by the defense attorney. Once all the sufficient evidence is collected and reports are completed, the law enforcement agency will turn the investigation documentation over to the prosecutor’s office to pursue criminal action against the suspected impaired driver. Most times, the law enforcement officials will suggest by statute which offenses have occurred. You may ask if the investigating agency has a victim advocacy program or a victim- witness assistance program. It’s also possible that there is a victim-witness assistance program located in the prosecutor’s office as well. The victim assistance personnel can keep you informed of the status of the case and provide services you may need as a crime victim. Services include referrals to appropriate agencies, victim counseling and assistance in applying to the State Victim Compensation program for reimbursement of uninsured expenses

There may be resources available to you as a victim of a crime.

resulting from the crash. Your MADD victim advocate may also provide many of the same services.

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